This week on “3D Printing: The Stories We Missed This Week,” we’ve got everything from free online courses to the latest revelations from the TCT Show that took place in Birmingham, UK this week. For starters, the online educational platform FutureLearn is hosting a free course entitled “Bioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts.” Research and Markets has unveiled the “Artificial Organs – Global Strategic Business Report,” which details how 3D printing is revolutionizing the artificial organ development sector of the medical industry. Two of the premier SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys resellers, TriMech and CADD Edge, have announced that they will merge together under one brand. The release of Mattel’s highly anticipated ThingMaker, the 3D printer designed for kids to produce their own toys, has been delayed until next year. The BLTouch, which is an auto leveling sensor for 3D printers, will now be readily available in the US courtesy of their new reseller 3D Printer Universe. Verbatim, a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group, unveiled their new line of high-performance PET and PLA 3D printing filaments at TCT Show. Lastly, Honeywell Aerospace has signed a contract with Sigma Labs, the leading provider of quality assurance software, to collaborate on the “America Makes” additive manufacturing research project.
FutureLearn Launches Free University-Level Online Course on Bioprinting
Are you intrigued by the future of medical 3D printing? Well, the online educational platform FutureLearn has announced a free course entitled “Bioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts.” The four-week course, which was also offered last fall, will be run by the University of Wollongong Australia, and will feature Gordon Wallace, the lead educator from the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials. Starting on October 3, the online course will cover everything from the origins of 3D printing technology to the possibility of printing whole body organs in the near future. Participants will learn about a vast array of commonly used biomaterials, including metals, ceramics, and polymers, and will also familiarize themselves with different bioprinting techniques, such as selective laser melting (SLM), hot-melt extrusion, and inkjet printing. A variety of case studies will also be presented to the students, helping them learn what is currently possible with bioprinting technology. You can sign up for the course here.
Market Report Shows That 3D Printing is Revolutionizing Artificial Organ Development
The online market research store Research and Markets has unveiled the latest report from Global Industry Analysts, Inc., entitled the “Artificial Organs – Global Strategic Business Report.” Their latest findings show that 3D printing technology is revolutionizing the medical industry’s artificial organ development segment. The report covers every aspect of the artificial organ segment, including market trends and issues, 3D bioprinting, technological advancements, introduction to biomaterials, the global market perspective, and much more. Research and Markets profiled 48 different medical companies from throughout the world, including all of the key and niche players in the medical industry. The report goes into detail on the following product segments: Artificial Heart, Artificial Kidneys, Artificial Liver, Artificial Pancreas, and Artificial Lungs. You can find more information on the artificial organ report here.
SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys Resellers TriMech and CADD Edge Complete Merger
Two industry leading resellers for SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys, TriMech and CADD Edge, have announced that they will be merging together under one brand, name, and logo. CADD Edge will rebrand and join TriMech’s prominent infrastructure, which includes more than 65 application engineers certified in SOLIDWORKS products, as well as 16 full-time support engineers. The CADD Edge rebrand will happen gradually over a four month period, and will fully transition with TriMech by January 2017. Together, TriMech will be one of the top three reseller partners for both SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys. TriMech currently provides mechanical engineering software, hardware solutions, and training and technical services to the eastern part of the United States. They have over 14,000 clients spanning from federal agencies to small-sized engineering and manufacturing firms.
“Our clients’ markets are changing at an incredible pace, and so is ours. The ongoing pressure to competitively deliver the right products and tools to the market in a timely fashion, while weighing the impact that the Internet of things brings, is significant,” Tim Preston, CEO of CADD Edge, said. “Today’s market expects a great product with a great customer experience. This merger positions our combined companies to significantly impact the value we deliver for our clients in 23 states across North America.”
Mattel Delays the Release of ThingMaker 3D Printer Until Next Year
After unveiling their highly anticipated ThingMaker 3D printer at New York’s Toy Fair earlier this year, the toy company Mattel was set to ship their newest product sometime this month. But, according to a company spokesperson, their ambitious attempt to bring 3D printing technology to the children’s toy market has been halted until next year. The toy maker reportedly needs additional time to “enhance the digital functionality” of the product in order to deliver the “most engaging” experience for its customers. The low-cost printer was developed with a simple interface that would allow kids to easily design and print toys like dolls, robots, and dinosaurs. According to Mattel, their delayed 3D printer would print out toy parts in batches, which would then be assembled with ball-and-socket joints that snap together. The ThingMaker is meant to be a reinvigorated version of Mattel’s original at-home maker device from the ‘60s, which would let kids create things by pouring a liquid, plastic-like material into molds. Although the unforeseen delay is a bit disappointing, it seems to stem from software issues, rather than issues with the 3D printer hardware.
“After much consideration, Mattel has decided to move its Thingmaker/3D printer launch to Fall 2017. At Mattel, we pride ourselves on delivering best-in-class products and the additional time will allow us to enhance the digital functionality to ensure we deliver the most engaging end-to-end experience for all family members. We are grateful for the excitement around this product and look forward to exceeding expectations in 2017,” stated a spokesperson from Mattel.
3D Printer Universe Becomes US Reseller for BLTouch Auto Leveling Sensor
Last year, the South Korean startup ANTCLABS launched the BLTouch, an auto leveling sensor for 3D printers, on Indiegogo. Although they narrowly missed their crowdfunding goal, the startup still managed to ship out their auto leveling sensor to all of their early supporters. After recreating the Indiegogo campaign in May of this year, ANTCLABS has been able to fund the rest of their project, and they’re now ready to share their high-quality 3D printing accessory with the world. To help do this, the US-based 3D printing reseller 3D Printer Universe will help distribute the auto leveling sensor stateside. Now, instead of waiting 10 to 20 days to have the BLTouch shipped from South Korea, eager 3D printing users in the US can now obtain the sensor directly from the new resellers. The BLTouch is an auto leveling sensor for open source 3D printers, and works with any kind of print bed, including glass, metal, wood, and more.
Verbatim Showcases New High-Performance Filaments at TCT Show
This past week, at the TCT Show in Birmingham, UK, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group’s subsidiary Verbatim made their entrance into the 3D printing filament market. Originally known as a data storage and LED lighting company, Verbatim has added two high-performance FDM 3D printing materials to their existing portfolio of high-grade ABS, PLA, and PRIMALLOY TPE filaments. Their newest PLA filament uses special additives from Mitsubishi that help conquer the common issues of warping and brittling. Additionally, the special mix is soft enough to allow sandpapering for a smoother finish. Their other new material, PET filament, is a stable and lightweight plastic that will provide sturdiness and transparency. Widely used for packaging bottled drinks, Verbatim’s version of PET will be relatively smooth, boasting a ribbon-like texture and a sparkly appearance.
“Manufactured in Japan with high quality materials and tight industry standards, the new materials we have introduced use highly evolved and proprietary manufacturing processes to yield the best possible 3D printing results. Consistency is key and Verbatim’s new 3D printing filaments offer consistent quality from spool to spool. The new products also benefit from better tolerances and will extrude effortlessly without risk of jamming or clogging in the printer,” explains Rüdiger Theobald, Marketing Director, Verbatim EMEA.
Honeywell Aerospace Signs Contract With Sigma Labs for “America Makes” Project
Earlier this week, Honeywell Aerospace struck up a deal with Sigma Labs for the “America Makes” initiative, a research project launched in collaboration with GE Aviation. The program, which is funded by the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), will use Sigma Labs’ proprietary In-Process Quality Assurance software for advanced additive manufacturing monitoring and inspection. Honeywell Aerospace will demonstrate the benefits that their PrintRite3D quality assurance software can provide to the aerospace industry, namely with topology optimization and rapid qualification of components. Additionally, Sigma Labs will collaborate with Honeywell Aerospace on its contract with America Makes for Design of Additive Manufacturing of Laser Powder Bed Production of Aerospace Components. This isn’t the first time the two entities have collaborated with one another. Back in 2014, Sigma Labs was awarded a Phase II contract from Honeywell Aerospace toward a DARPA project.
“Working alongside Honeywell on these America Makes programs allows Sigma Labs to showcase the features of our unique PrintRite3D® quality assurance software,” said Mark Cola, President and CEO of Sigma Labs. “These are opportunities for Sigma Labs to demonstrate its unique capabilities within the aerospace industry – particularly as part of initiatives for topology optimization of 3D designed parts as well as demonstrate rapid qualification of 3D-printed components. We look forward to delivering on these programs in 2016 and appreciate the trust that Honeywell Aerospace continues to place in Sigma Labs.”
Discuss further in the Week’s 3D Printing News forum over at 3DPB.com.