3D Printing: The Stories We Missed This Week — January 14, 2017

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On this week’s edition of “The Stories We Missed This Week,” we’ve got a wide range of news spanning from drone swarms to 3D printing WordPress plugins. First off, Italian company Robot Factory developed a support for the multifunction tool that helps cut the shapes made using their recently released 3D FORMING system. 3D printing software developer Phanes has created the 3DP Quote Calculator WordPress plugin, allowing customers to upload models and receive an instant quote. Singaporean healthcare 3D printing startup Supercraft3D has raised $1 million from a group of investors. Italian 3D printing company Roboze has established a direct sales channel in Israel to strengthen their position with local customers and enterprises. Metal powder producer LPW Technology has attained AS 9120A quality standard, setting them up for success in the aerospace and defense sector. The US Department of Defense successfully tested the largest-ever swarm of micro-drones using MIT’s 3D printed Perdix drones. Lastly, Carbon announced that they will utilize Oracle Cloud Applications to streamline business processes across organizational development, manufacturing, finance, and services.

Robot Factory Develops Multifunction Tool to Cut Shapes From 3D Forming System

swm-fronte_giu-1024x921Back in November, we covered the unique thermoforming system developed by the Italian company Robot Factory, called 3D FORMING. The thermoforming process involves a heated sheet of plastic that becomes pliable enough to be formed into a mold. Robot Factory’s system can be used to either create molds or finished 3D objects, but these objects aren’t usually done after the thermoforming process is completed. 3D FORMING users must also finish the part, which requires removing the border from these thermoformed objects. To assist with this, Robot Factory has just announced support for the multifunction vibration tool Bosch PMF 220 CE, which can cut shapes made with the 3D FORMING system. This multifunction system allows users to easily cut the edges of the thermoformed piece in a smooth and safe manner, providing pristinely finished products and containers for presentation packaging. Check out the demonstrative video below!

Phanes Develops 3DP Quote Calculator WordPress Plugin

swm-phanes3D printing software solutions provider Phanes has developed the 3DP Quote Calculator, a new WordPress plugin that allows 3D printing freelancers and small businesses to provide instant quotes for their customers. The price quoting plugin will enable customers to upload their 3D model and receive a 3D printing cost quote that can be immediately paid via Amazon Payments, Paypal, or Stripe. While many larger enterprises have their own price quoting platforms, the 3DP Quote Calculator is designed to provide consistent prices for small-to-medium-sized 3D printing shops and freelancers. The plugin is available starting at $9.95, and aims to build trust and reliability between 3D printing services and their customers.

“We built a system that allows a 3D Printing Services company and freelancer to calculate 3d printing files for their volume, instantly provide a price quote, and allow the customer to instantly pay through their website,” says Jon Acosto, founder and managing member of Phanes parent company Abacab Ltd. “This will help them to close sales because customers aren’t waiting on quotes and can use their credit or debit card to make a purchase immediately.”

Singaporean 3D Printing Startup Supercraft3D Raises $1 Million

swm-supercraftBased out of Singapore, the healthcare 3D printing startup Supercraft3D recently raked in $1 million from a group of angel investors, which included Flipkart co-founder and major bio-tech financial backer Binny Bansal. While the rising company is focused on providing patient-specific visualization solutions to hospitals and medical professionals, they also develop customized body implants made from bio-compatible titanium alloy. Supercraft3D provides these specialized implants to patients with unique physiological or pathological needs. While medical imaging processes like MRI or CT scans are difficult for the patient to comprehend, Supercraft3D is focused on transforming these medical maps into 3D models that can be easily examined and better understood.

“The surgical models like X-ray, MRI or CT scan are in 2D and are monochromatic. The common man cannot understand what it says. Surgeons also find it tough at times. So, we decided to convert these images into 3D models,” says Maltesh Somasekharappa, cofounder of Supercraft3D. “We have started the R&D for patient-specific implants. We (Asians) get very limited choices when it comes to knee implants, for example. We make implants specific to the patient based on age and lifestyle.”

Roboze Strengthens Position in Israel By Establishing Direct Sales Channel 
swm-robozeItalian 3D printing manufacturer Roboze spent the better part of last year expanding their reach around the world, making a number of distribution deals throughout Europe, India, and many other regions. Now, just a few months after providing their Roboze One 400+ 3D printer to the Israeli defense company Cyclone, the 3D printing manufacturer is looking to strengthen their presence in the Middle Eastern region by establishing a new direct sales channel in Herzliya, Israel. Focusing primarily on defense and security, Roboze’s industrial-grade 3D printing technology enables the production of extremely durable and functionally advanced techno-polymers. The Italian company boasts their PEEK, PEI, and CARBON-PA materials as optimal for the production of end-use and functional parts. While Roboze is aiming to expand their reach around Israel’s defense sector, developing a direct sales channel solely for Israel seems to be the first major step in doing so.

LPW Technology Achieves AS 9120A Quality Standard for Metal Powders

unnamed-6Known for their production of metal powders for additive manufacturing, LPW Technology has successfully developed advanced and environmentally conscious processes to produce these industrial-grade materials. The metal powder manufacturer recently made some major strides in the form of quality assurance standards, earning themselves AS 9120A & ISO 9001:2008 certifications. AS 9120A was essentially developed to standardize the quality of materials best suited for the aerospace, defense, and space industries. By being awarded with this highly regarded quality assurance standard, LPW Technology can assure their customers that their metal powder materials meet the quality and traceability necessitated by the aerospace sector. Their specialized metal powder materials are engineered for LASER and Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing processes.

“LPW’s ethos is to provide evidence-based quality assurance for its customers across the globe,” comments John D. Hunter, General Manager of LPW Technology, Inc. “The award of the USA quality standards complements our UK achievements, where we’ve already attained ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2012, AS 9100C and AS 9120A.”

US Department of Defense Successfully Tests Biggest Ever Micro-Drone Swarm

swm-perdix-in-flightBack in October, the Pentagon revealed that they would be working to deploy swarms of 3D printed Perdix micro-drones for surveillance and offensive strategies. This past week, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced that they had successfully tested the world’s biggest swarm of drones on record.  The DoD dispersed 103 Perdix drones from three F/A-18 Super Hornets over China Lake in California. Originally designed by MIT engineering students, the Perdix drone was later modified and upgraded for military use.The swarm of micro-drones completed a set of specified missions together and demonstrated the ability to make collective decisions, handle adaptive formation flying, and self-heal. The test, performed back in October, can be seen in the exhilarating demo video below!

“Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronised individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said William Roper, director of the DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO). “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”

Carbon Selects Oracle Cloud Applications to Streamline Business Processes

swm-carbon3d After becoming the buzz of the 3D printing industry last year with their unprecedented CLIP technology, the Silicon Valley-based startup Carbon has continued to lead us into the next generation of 3D printing technology. The company has raked in even more money in their latest Series C funding round, and has continued to advance their materials along with their printing technology. Now, Carbon has announced that they will integrate Oracle Cloud Applications into their business. The cloud platform will allow the rising startup to modernize their printing systems, transform business processes, and help ensure a secure and scalable cloud suite for their next phase of growth. Carbon will integrate Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud, Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud, and Oracle Service Cloud into their business model due to Oracle’s integrated range of offerings, embedded analytics, and their easy-to-use interfaces. All in all, the modern suite of Oracle Cloud Applications will help Carbon streamline business processes and optimize their services.

“As we evaluated our business needs, we knew we needed a future-proof cloud-based solution that could scale as we grow. Not only did we need a sales-ready product, but we also needed a sales-ready business organization,” said Chris Hutton, director of business operations at Carbon. “Oracle’s Cloud Applications help ensure our business processes are seamless so we can focus on delivering the best experience to every customer.”

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