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In our latest edition of “The Stories We Missed This Week,” we’ve got an array of new partnerships and acquisitions, 3D printed gun news, and more. First, Pixologic is expanding the reach of their digital sculpting application ZBrush with the streaming medial portal ZBrushLIVE. LED light source provider Innovations in Optics has introduced the LumiBright 3300B UV-LED Illuminators, high power UV-LED light engineered for use with DLP 3D printing. Tech giant Microsoft has taken a major step in the 3D realm with their acquisition of the 3D data optimization platform Simplygon. Chinese 3D scanning and printing company Shining 3D has struck up a strategic partnership with UK-based distributor PrintLab. Also, Sigma Labs has entered a commercial agreement to provide their PrintRite3D quality assurance software to a leading European OEM. A 3D printed liquid metal Ford Torino car was auctioned off this past week for $5,500. European aerospace pioneer Airbus has received Germany’s Federal Ecodesign Award for their Bionic Partition design concept. Lastly, the battle in Australia against 3D printed guns continues as a Gold Coast man was charged for printing handgun parts.

Pixologic Expands Reach With ZBrushLIVE Streaming Media Portal

swm-zbrushThis past week, Pixologic made a major expansion to complement their digital sculpting application ZBrush by launching their new streaming media portal ZBrushLIVE. The platform will feature live Twitch broadcasts, The ZBrush Podcast, and other related news and media. The media portal, which launches on February 6, will include regularly scheduled broadcasts focused on artists and industry professionals covering sectors of the 3D industry, such as character creation, product design, 3D printing and more. Pixologic will also include ‘ZPlays,’ which are live gaming sessions featuring artists from game studios sharing their games’ assets, insightful commentary, and behind the scenes sneak peeks. Thus far, this includes artists from major game titles like Fallout 4, DOOM, and Final Fantasy XV. Additionally, the ZBrush Podcast will also include in-depth conversations with various artists and designers about their creative process.

Innovations in Optics Unveils LumiBright 3300B UV-LED Illuminators for DLP 3D Printing

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-12-06-39-pmBased in Massachusetts, the LED light source provider Innovations in Optics, Inc. has recently unveiled their new LumiBright 3300B UV-LED Illuminators solution that can be used for Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing. The high power and highly uniformed UV-LED solution offers top-notch speed and resolution for applications like 3D printing or maskless lithography. The use of water-cooling allows the UV-LED array to be operated at a very high current density, helping to optimize the DLP system it’s used with. Innovations in Optics has released two different DLP chipsets for their illumination light source. There’s a 20 watt illuminator designed for the DLP7000 chipset and the 30 watt illuminator designed for the DLP9500 chipset. The available wavelengths for this UV-LED array include 365, 385, 395 and 405 nm in single or multi-wavelength configurations. In addition, Innovations in Optics recently joined the Texas Instruments Design Network, a collection of companies that develop products and manufacturing services that complement Texas Instruments’ semiconductors.

Microsoft Aims to Develop 3D for Everyone With Acquisition of Simplygon

swm-simplygon-logoAs Microsoft has emerged in the 3D industry with their versatile 3D Builder App, the tech giant has continued to implement their 3D For Everyone vision and strategy by acquiring the automatic 3D data optimization solutions developer Simplygon. According to Microsoft, the integration of Simplygon will strengthen their standing in the realm of 3D creation, enabling more efficient capturing, creating, and sharing of 3D objects. The 3D data optimization platform will join Microsoft’s growing suite of 3D solutions, including Windows 10 Creators Update, Paint 3D, and their online creator community at Remix3D.com. Originally developed by the Swedish company Donya Labs AB, Simplygon has emerged as a leader in 3D game optimization, enabling creators and users of 3D data to optimize their content pipelines, as well as streamline and simplify workflows. The acquisition will place Simplygon’s leadership team under Microsoft’s wing, including CEO Matt Connors, founder and CTO Ulrik Lindahl, and co-founder Koshi Hamedi.

Shining 3D Signs Strategic Partnership with Global Distributor PrintLab

art-and-heratageThis past week, Chinese 3D scanning and printing company Shining 3D signed a strategic partnership with UK-based global distributor PrintLab. The new deal will enable Shining 3D to distribute their highly acclaimed EinScan 3D scanning product range. With partners in over 20 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey, and more, PrintLab will surely help spread EinScan 3D scanners across the globe. The distributor will focus on selling these Shining 3D products directly to individuals, organizations, schools, government departments, and businesses. The announcement of the new distribution deal follows the launch of Shining 3D’s 25,000-square-meter innovation center and new line of EinScan 3D scanners, which were recently unveiled at CES 2017.

Shining 3D Global Sales VP Oscar Meza said, “Shining 3D is very excited and honoured with the opportunity of having PrintLab as one of our strategic partners in the sales of our consumer scanners, the ‘Einscan Series.’ We look forward to working closely with each other in delivering the best and most reliable scanning solutions to our common customers.”

Sigma Labs Enters Commercial Agreement With Major European OEM

swm-sigmaIn other partnership news, quality assurance software developer Sigma Labs has announced a new commercial agreement with an undisclosed European OEM. The non-exclusive partnership will equip this leading European provider of additive manufacturing products with PrintRite3D software, joining the recently developed Sigma Labs OEM Partner Program. The multi-year deal is estimated to be worth around $6 million, and will allow the undisclosed OEM to embed and resell the PrintRite3D software within their own 3D printing equipment. The integration of the quality assurance software will enable the OEM’s customers to increase production yields, process reliability, and part quality.

“Sigma’s recent announcement marks the culminating step in our business model…vision, evolve, and emerge,” Mark Cola, President and CEO of Sigma Labs, told 3DPrint.com about the new deal. “Early on, Sigma Labs set a vision to be a trusted and reliable technology partner for QA/QC software for advanced manufacturing. Our efforts to date were focused on acceptance within the OEM end user community of high-value, high-precision 3D printed parts, and evolving that vision through our Early Adopter Program. With that in mind we then sought relationships with 3DP machine manufacturers through our OEM Partners Program to emerge as the go-to QA/QC software experts for performance-critical applications.”

Cola continued, “The importance of QA/QC inspection software in the AM industry cannot be over emphasized. The essence of quality is comparison to a standard, without a standard there is no quality.  At this stage in its growth, the AM industry is still developing quality standards.  PrintRite3D helps to unify the formulation of such standards for an industry still in its embryonic stages.”

3D Printed Liquid Metal Ford Torino Auctioned Off for $5,500

swm-3d-printed-ford-torinoEarlier this week at the 2017 Barrett-Jackson event in Scottsdale, Arizona, one of the first-ever 3D printed cars was auctioned off for $5,500 in a highly-anticipated event. The 3D printed liquid metal Ford Torino was created by Romanian artist Ioan Florea, using an industrial 3D printer specially developed for experimental purposes and to produce nonfunctional artistic objects. Although the vehicle is non-running, the unique design made the automotive model a spectacle to behold. Inspired by the 1971 Ford Torino, the car’s body is meant to depict “the fusion of liquid metal and nano- and ultra-light materials.” Created in 2013, the 3D printed art piece is designed to symbolize the historical transition between the second and third industrial revolutions.

Airbus Wins German Eco Award for “Bionic Partition” Design

pic_4_autodesk-las-vegas-dscf3390-021215-002110Back in December 2015, European aerospace pioneer Airbus announced that they would use Autodesk software to 3D print a ‘bionic partition’ for their airplane cabins. This past week, their uniquely organic partition design concept was presented with Germany’s Federal Ecodesign Award. The Bionic Partition was designed to divide the seating area and gallery of an airplane. Airbus utilized Autodesk generative design software to alleviate certain design constraints, as well as cloud computing to analyze and optimize solutions. This led to the production of a frame that weighed 45% less than conventional partitions, resulting in saved fuels costs and reduced CO2 emissions. To create the component, Airbus turned to the large-scale Concept Laser M2 metal 3D printer and an advanced metal material from APWorks. The partition is able to be installed in existing aircraft cabins, while individual components can be easily replaced, making this innovative concept well deserving of this prestigious award.

Professor Matthias Held, professor at the School of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd and board member of the German Society for Design Theory and Research DGTF, stated:

“With the ‘Bionic Partition Wall’, Airbus is demonstrating, in exemplary fashion, the different possibilities offered by additive manufacturing. The branch-like structures give an insight into the formal-aesthetic potential of topological optimisation.”

Gold Coast Man Charged With 3D Printing Firearm Parts

swm-gunThis past week, a man from the Australian Gold Coast region was charged with a six-month suspended sentence for producing a weapon without a license back in February 2015. When police raided his 18-acre property during a drug bust, they also found several bags with firearm parts that were produced with a 3D printer. The man, named Kyle Wirth, pleaded guilty to the offense, and also told the police that the 3D printed guns are not fully functional without extra parts. According to his defense attorney, Wirth was curious to see if he could produce a gun by 3D printing the parts, an action that is heavily frowned upon by Australia’s government. Judge Katherine McGuinness seemed to have set a precedent with the relatively harsh sentence, claiming that this is only the beginning for 3D printed firearms. Wirth was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for a period of 12 months for the weapons offense. Discuss in the Stories We Missed forum at 3DPB.com.

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