Welcome to another jam-packed edition of “3D Printing: The Stories We Missed This Week,” featuring exciting 3D printing news from all over the world that we just didn’t have time to cover over the week. The Austrian startup XIONEER presented their patented 3D printing system to the ministers of the European Union, providing a pivotal step for further investments in the emerging technology. Materialise NV announced a new collaboration with medical solutions provider DePuy Synthes, which will now distribute patient-specific, 3D printed craniomaxillofacial (CMF) implants in Australia and Europe. Even criminal gangs are getting in on the 3D printing revolution, as law enforcement and shipping industry professionals claim that criminals are able to utilize additive manufacturing to create counterfeit security devices, such as cargo seals, security locks and keys. The Moscow Agency of Innovations has launched the Open Innovation Marketplace (OIMP) competition, where 50 companies will compete in 10 industry challenges, one of which is for 3D printing technology. Proto Labs has expanded their 3D printing services by opening a new facility, which will integrate Concept Laser’s LaserCUSING technology to complement their manufacturing capabilities. The Italian company Numanova, a subsidiary of Italeaf, has been granted a unique environmental license that will enable them to further their production of metal powders for the additive manufacturing industry. Lastly, the German medical supply company KLS Martin Group will invest $5 million to open their first U.S. manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Florida.
XIONEER Systems Showcases 3D Printing Technology to EU, Proving Importance for Economic Growth
Ministers from the European Union are now taking a closer look at the benefits of 3D printing technology thanks to XIONEER Systems, a publicly funded tech startup based in Vienna, Austria. During the Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Competitiveness, an event related to the Slovak presidency of the EU Council in Bratislava, XIONEER was invited to showcase their patented 3D printing system, the X1, which proved to be an advancement over the existing manufacturing solutions on the market. The EU ministers were reportedly impressed with the quality of the printer’s output, as well as the potential for multi-material printing, faster development, and manufacturing new products. XIONEER System’s CEO, Dr. Andrei Neboian, encouraged the EU to spread 3D printing technology by providing academic education and financial support for further research and development, setting quality standards, creating clear rules for intellectual property, and providing incentives to enterprises to utilize additive manufacturing. Although the discussion has yet to translate into policies, the meeting was a pivotal step towards strengthening the investment ecosystem for 3D printing technology in Europe.
Materialise NV Announces Collaboration with DePuy Sythes to Distribute 3D Printing Implants
The Belgium-based 3D printing company Materialise NV has announced a collaboration with DePuy Synthes, a medical solutions subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. With this latest partnership, Materialise will distribute their patient-specific, 3D printed craniomaxillofacial (CMF) implants through DePuy Synthes TRUMATCH CMF Solutions. In the past, Materialise and DePuy Synthes collaborated on a solution for medical planning and patient-specific guides for CMF surgery called ProPlan CMF, which is already included as a part of their TRUMATCH CMF Solutions. Now, the two companies will work to provide surgeons with access to these patient-specific implants in order to enhance treatment. These 3D printed CMF implants will be offered throughout Australia and Europe, with the exception of France.
“At Materialise, we strive to make medical 3D printing accessible to every researcher, engineer, and clinician, through an open platform of software and services that help customize patient treatment,” said Materialise Founder and CEO Wilfried Vancraen. “Together with DePuy Synthes, we have successfully enabled better surgical outcomes through surgical planning and patient-specific guides, and are proud that this new collaboration will now empower even more CMF surgeons to discover the benefits of 3D-printed, patient-specific implants as well.”
Criminal Gangs Are Utilizing 3D Printing to Steal Shipments of Goods
According to the international security solutions provider G4S, criminal gangs have been utilizing 3D printing technology to steal shipments of assorted goods, ranging from food to electronic products. They claim that these criminals are taking advantage of the reduced costs and increased accessibility of 3D printing technology to create counterfeit security devices, such as cargo seals, security locks and keys. After these shipping containers are broken into and robbed of their contents, the criminals replace security seals with 3D printed replicas, making it difficult to pinpoint when and where the shipment was stolen. In order to combat this rising issue, G4S has suggested that their clients request a third-party security assessment of shipping companies, conduct more thorough background checks on shipping company employees, identify and utilize alternative shipping routes and delivery times, place GPS devices randomly in shipments, and more.
Moscow Agency of Innovations Launches Open Innovation Marketplace Competition
The Moscow Agency of Innovations has just launched the Open Innovation Marketplace (OIMP) competition, a global startup contest that will host 50 companies competing in 10 different industry challenges. The contest, which aims to cultivate innovative, tech-driven solutions for the needs of Moscow, was developed in partnership with a number of Moscow government departments and state-owned corporations, and will feature an Additive Manufacturing Technologies challenge as one of the 10 competition categories. All semifinalists will be invited to the final stage of the contest, which takes place on September 20 at the Moscow-based IASP World Conference. Winners of the OIMP challenge will be given the opportunity to pilot innovations for Moscow’s public infrastructure, earn funding from local enterprises, get one of their projects hosted, and establish direct contact with Moscow government officials. In addition to the Moscow Agency of Innovations, the contest was organized with the help of Moscow Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship, La Salle Technova Barcelona, and Skolkovo Innovation Center. The contest is open to startups across the world, and submissions will be accepted up until July 29, 2016 through the Open Challenges website.
Proto Labs to Open New Manufacturing Facility, Expand Services with Concept Laser
Proto Labs, one of the leading 3D printing service providers, has announced that they will be utilizing manufacturing technology developed by Concept Laser in their newest metal additive manufacturing facility. The Minnesota-headquartered company will integrate multiple Mlab cusing and M2 cusing machines, which utilize LaserCUSING technology, into their new 77,000-square-foot facility later on this year. With this newly implemented technology, Proto Labs looks to complement its existing portfolio of additive manufacturing, CNC machining, and injection molding processes. The LaserCUSING system works with a vast array of metal alloys, allowing for the functional prototyping of metal components. It builds components layer by layer, and thus enables internal features that would not be possible with casting or machining. In addition, the technology is capable of quickly and easily producing full-strength metal parts, and is able to transition to metal injection molding when increased production is called for.
“Our business is built on a foundation of speed, efficiency, and delivering a superior quality of parts. Concept Laser metal powder-bed systems provide us with the ability to deliver on that promise to our customers,” said Rob Connelly, Proto Labs’ Vice President of Additive Manufacturing. “The Mlab cusing and M2 cusing machines from Concept Laser enable us to manufacture with a variety of reactive and non-reactive metal powders in various build volumes.”
Metal Powder Producer Numanova Receives Unique Environmental License to Further Material Production
The Italian metal powder producer Numanova, a subsidiary of the business accelerator Italeaf, has just received the green light from local authorities to start production at the Nera Montoro eco-industrial park. The environmental license granted to the company, which relates to the emissions from the metal powder being produced at the facility, will enable them to install and utilize two melting and gas atomization technology into their industrial plant. With their collection of licenses, Numanova is set to launch their investment program, which consists of acquiring and installing production facilities for high quality ferrous and non-ferrous metal powders that will be used for 3D printing technology, as well as Metal Injection Molding (MIM) and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP). Numanova will equip itself with advanced metal powder production technology via Electrode Induction-melting Inert Gas Atomization (EIGA), which is used to produce powders from titanium and aluminum alloys, as well as Vacuum Induction-melting Inert Gas Atomization (VIGA), which produces ferrous metal powders and alloys of nickel, cobalt and zirconium. Both of these newly implemented technologies will have a reduced environmental impact and high intrinsic safety levels.
German Medical Company to Open First US-Based 3D Printing Manufacturing Facility
According to the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott, the German medical supply company KLS Martin Group has unveiled plans to open their first-ever manufacturing facility in the United States. The new facility, which will be located in Jacksonville, will focus on utilizing 3D printing technology to produce medical supplies and equipment, and will add approximately 25 jobs to the state along the way. KLS Martin Group will reportedly invest $5 million into their latest manufacturing venture. The new plant will actually be the first manufacturing facility opened by the company outside of Germany. According to the released statement, the company decided on the Southern city for its competitive location and access to workforce talent. Back in 1993, their subsidiary company KLS Martin LP was opened in Jacksonville, thus making the US city a second home of sorts for the medical supply company.
“This new company will allow the KLS Martin Group to provide innovative products through cutting edge 3D printing technology that will improve patient care and surgical outcomes,” KLS Martin Manufacturing’s Tom Johnston said.
Discuss these topics further in the Week’s 3D Printing News forum over at 3DPB.com.