3D Printing: The Stories We Missed This Week — June 25, 2016


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There’s been a lot happening in the 3D printing industry all around the world, and we’re here to catch you up on everything we were unable to squeeze into this jam-packed news week. Air Liquide has just initiated the FAIR project (Additive Manufacturing for the Intensification of Reactors), a collaborative effort that aims to develop a new additive manufacturing sector in France. HP is set to expand their global 3D printing center in Barcelona, which will utilize their new HP Jet Fusion industrial 3D printers at the end of 2016. Carbon has been named to the annual MIT Tech Review’s 50 smartest companies list, making them the only 3D printing company to make the cut. The drone delivery company Flirtey shared a statement this week regarding the FAA rules for commercial drones, while Stratasys released a new white paper detailing 3D printing technology in medical education and training. A controversial decision by Shapeways to ban the printing of swastikas in their facilities is being protested by those who look at the symbol for the ancient and peaceful meaning it originally represented. Last, but not least, the on-demand parts manufacturing company Fast Radius has become a member of America Makes.

Air Liquide Initiates Effort to Develop New Additive Manufacturing Sector in France

downloadFrance-based gas company Air Liquide is initiating a collaborative effort to help create a new French industrial sector for 3D printing technology. The project, which is called FAIR (Additive Manufacturing for the Intensification of Reactors), will develop new reactor-exchanger technology through additive manufacturing. The FAIR project was initiated by Air Liquide R&D and the French startup Poly-Shape, and will include the innovative prowess of several academic and industrial partners. Over the next three to five years, the project aims to use 3D printing technology to offer enhanced equipment that is more compact, more energy efficient, and also more cost effective for the petrochemical, aerospace, and automotive industries, among other tertiary services. Thus far, the FAIR project has received €10.5 million in financial support, and will cost approximately €35 million over the next four years.

HP Announces Expansion of Their Global 3D Printing Centre in Barcelona

3dp_hp3dprinter_hp_logoAfter recently creating a whole lot of buzz in the 3D printing industry with the unveiling of their HP Jet Fusion industrial 3D printers, HP has now announced plans to expand their global 3D printing facility located in Sant Cugat del Vallès, a municipality north of Barcelona, a site 3DPrint.com visited just last month to see the new machines and talk to executives. HP’s 3D printing center currently employs around 1,700 professionals from 60 different countries, registering around 150 patents a year. HP plans to invest about €60 million a year into the center’s R&D. According to the company, their Jet Fusion 3D printer, which is said to provide 10 times the production output at half the cost of other industrial 3D printing systems, will be launched around the end of 2016 and the start of 2017.

“Our commitment to this latest technology, which is set to reinvent design, prototyping and manufacturing…has resulted in these facilities becoming too small,” said Helena Herrero, the president of HP Iberia.

Carbon Makes the Cut for MIT Technology Review’s 50 Smartest Companies 2016 List

Carbon_logoAfter a promising launch for their M1 3D printer, the first to use their patented Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology, 3D printing company Carbon has earned a much-deserved spot on the list for MIT Technology Review’s 50 Smartest Companies 2016. The Redwood City, California-based company was the only pure 3D printing company to make the cut, earning praise from the MIT Technology Review for their new manufacturing technique, which 3D prints at 100 times the rate as rival methods. Coming in at number 32 out of 50 on the list, Carbon was also noted for their high-powered roster of investors, which includes Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Silver Lake Kraftwerk. Although no valuation was available for listing, Carbon has earned its place on the list with the $141 million they’ve already raised, along with a technology that could completely change the world of manufacturing. Other notable companies on the list include Amazon, Alphabet, Tesla, and many more.

Flirtey Releases Statement on FAA Regulations Regarding Commercial Drones

flirtey-drone-2aKnown as one of the most prominent independent drone delivery services, the US-based startup Flirtey has been trying to pioneer the fastest and most efficient delivery service in the world with 3D printed drones. In order to do this, Flirtey has had to work closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help update their rules for unmanned aerial vehicle operations, ultimately building the framework for commercial drone use. Flirtey believes that the FAA should create these updated regulations for companies with the strongest track records, helping to differentiate the commercial drone companies integrating the highest safety standards. As countries like New Zealand lead the charge to create risk-based regulations for commercial drone use, the FAA must get caught up to speed before the US starts severely lagging behind. Here’s an excerpt from Flirtey’s statement to the FAA:

“Flirtey applauds the Federal Aviation Administration for updating their rules for unmanned aerial vehicle operations and paving the way for responsible and legal commercial drone operators to grow. This is a step in the right direction for the industry and a signal that the FAA is listening to the public demand for thoughtful and progressive drone regulation. It, however, is only one step. As a company that has worked with the FAA to conduct the first FAA-approved drone delivery and the first fully autonomous drone delivery in an urban setting, we know that safety can be balanced with more progressive rules that allow drone companies like ours to transform humanitarian response, delivery systems and logistic networks.”

Stratasys Releases White Paper Detailing 3D Printing for Medical Education and Training

medical-education-simulators-3d-printingLooking to provide a comprehensive look at 3D printing’s use as a tool for the advancement, acceleration and improvement of medical training, Stratasys has recently released their latest white paper: “Enhancing Clinical Preparedness – Review of Published Literature on 3D Printing Applications for Medical Education and Training.” Working with an independent third party source, Stratasys has gathered the most recent medical literature involving the use of 3D printing technology. In total, 31 different scientific papers were analyzed in the white paper, which included studies on 3D printed anatomical replicas that supplement or replace traditional medical education tools. All in all, these 3D printed tools were used across nine specialties and in general medical training. Here’s an excerpt from Stratasys’ latest white paper:

“All studies report 3D printing to be a cost-effective solution. Based on the expense of the 3D printed replicas, excluding capital outlay and ongoing operational costs, the studies state that the technology is more affordable than all other physical models. Adams et al. report a 90% to 95% cost reduction versus plastinated models, and McMenamin et al. show that a $14,000 plastinated model can be replaced by a $350 3D printed replica. The studies report 3D printing costs, based on material consumption, ranging from $10 to $2,600.”

Religious Group to Protest Shapeways for Refusing to 3D Print Swastika Designs

shapeways-logo-rgb-20141008In perhaps the strangest news involving 3D printing technology for the week, a potential boycott of the 3D printing service bureau Shapeways may go into effect due to their refusal to produce designs that involve the infamous swastika symbol. The protest is being headed by a number of Raelians, a religious group that teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials. Despite the negative connotation that the swastika gets due to its use by the Nazis, it also functions as a symbol for infinity in time for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains as well. The protest is a part of the upcoming “Swastika Rehabilitation Day,” a worldwide event held on June 25, which aims to inform people about the ancient and peaceful meaning that the swastika held previous to its relation to Nazi Germany.

“Shapeways, a 3D printing company, is refusing to print any design incorporating a swastika – even though they printed an embassy model incorporating one that we submitted,” said Thomas Kaenzig, a Raelian Guide who heads the ProSwastika Alliance. “But when we submitted a model for the symbol itself, they refused the order and advised us of the ban. We’re asking all Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Raelians to boycott Shapeways services for banning this symbol so dear to us all.”

Fast Radius Becomes a Member of America Makes

FROn-demand parts manufacturing company Fast Radius has recently announced its new membership with America Makes, the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in the research and development of 3D printing technology. By utilizing some of the country’s brightest technical minds from across all sectors, America Makes looks to cultivate innovation in the 3D printing industry. As a member, Fast Radius plans to collaborate and share knowledge with other fellow members. The company will work closely with America Makes’ Deputy Director Kevin Creehan, PhD, who will help ensure the alignment of deliverables to industry applications, as well as the implementation of 3D printing technology and intellectual property.

“Becoming a member of America Makes is a logical step for our company,” said Fast Radius co-founder Mitch Free. “We are committed to advancing additive manufacturing technology, and being a member of America Makes places us in an echelon of other thought leaders from across the country who are as passionate as we are about the future of manufacturing. It’s exciting to be a part of this next wave of innovation. The resources America Makes provides its members will enable us to continue growing rapidly.”

This week’s stories we didn’t cover crosses from business to medical, highlighting several key happenings in the last seven days in the AM world. Discuss these topics further in the Recent 3D Printing News forum over at 3DPB.com.


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