3D Printing: Stories We Missed This Week – February 11 2017


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Oerlikon is investing an additional $54,000,000 in 3D printing, American Elements expands its metal powders for 3D printing, Dremel and 3DPrinterOS partner, the MakerBot Replicator+ wins an award, e-Xstream Engineering and Solvay take home an award, a 3D printed (RC) jet engine and Jennifer Lewis is admitted into the NAE.


American Elements Expands 3D Printing Metal Powder Production

American Elements reportsbuildinga-lab-american-elements that it has expanded its metal alloy powder production facility. American Elements is a producer of powders such as titanium powders, rhodium powders, inconel and custom blends of powders. The company often works for the US aerospace industry for companies such as Lockheed and BAE Systems, and also for car manufacturers such as Ford and Toyota. The company also supplies them with rare earth metals, coatings, isotopes and battery materials.

“At full capacity, the improved facility can deliver several metric tons of high-purity alloys monthly,” stated Gabriel Leis, Head of Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping at American Elements.


Oerlikon Invests in R&D and Production Facility

Oerlikon powders are used by GE and other companies.

Oerlikon powders are used by GE and other companies.

Oerlikon also reports that it is expanding. The company is investing CHF55 million ($54 million) to start an R&D and production facility for 3D printing components in Charlotte, North Carolina. The site aims to employ 100 people. The company previously purchased German 3D printing group citim.

“Oerlikon expects the demand for additively manufactured metal components to increase rapidly in the coming years, making it one of the key growth areas in next-generation manufacturing technologies. Additive manufacturing is becoming increasingly suitable for the series production of advanced components. It is a technology that allows for the customization of products, the decentralization of production, change in design methodology and efficiency in material usage. The transformational impact of AM is likely to redefine some of the more conventional manufacturing value chains,” the company announcement states.


Dremel and 3DPrinterOS Partner Up

gi_62188_i1dea_bu1lder-logoDremel and 3DPrinterOS partner. This partnership will give Dremel Idea Builder users access to 3DPrinterOS, letting them slice and monitor their prints in the cloud. Many companies are exploring cloud-based 3D printing solutions now and we’re wondering if this will become the norm soon?

“3DPrinterOS allows real-time central management of users, printers and files with any web browser in a universal solution. This partnership will enable our printers to be compatible with a variety of devices, including Chromebooks and iPads,” said Dremel Education Head of Sales George Velez.


JEC Innovation Award for e-Xstream Engineering and Solvay

e-Xstream Engineering and Solvaysolvay have won a JEC Innovation Award. The JEC awards are awarded to innovations in composites worldwide. The award was given for Digimat Additive Manufacturing a software tool made specifically for 3D printing composites. As the announcement explains:

“By applying multi-scale material modeling techniques to the additive manufacturing of polymers (unfilled and reinforced), Digimat’s virtual material compounding and characterization is a key enabler for customers developing new materials. They are now able to significantly reduce their physical tests, understand the key parameters driving the material’s behavior and easily create new material systems, such as lightweight lattices, and open the door to even more innovative designs.”

Solvay’s involvements point to a renewed push of their Sinterline plastics into the 3D printing market, with co-winners Solvay Engineering Plastics and Solvay Specialty Polymers.


Harvard Researcher Jennifer Lewis Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Jennifer Lewis has been elected to the NAEjlewis_sm, the National Academy of Engineering. The Harvard researcher and professor is the brains behind 3D printed circuits company voxel8 and has over 40 patents to her name. Much of her 3D printing work is focused on functional materials, micro-scale fabrication and biomaterials.

“Jennifer’s work is a marvelous example of the power of convergence; bridging materials, medicine, robotics, and other fields. We are delighted to see her creative and impactful work recognized with this highly fitting Fellowship in the NAE,” said Francis J. Doyle III, John A. Paulson Dean and John A. & Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering & Applied Sciences.


MakerBot Takes Home iF Design Award

ifaward-blogheaderThe MakerBot Replicator+ won an iF design award in the Product category. Will this boon for the company signify a new era of resurgence for MakerBot and happy times again for them?


3D Printing Helps India Develop First Indigenous Jet Engine

intech1_3130848fIntech DMLS, an Indian metal 3D printing company, has developed India’s first jet engine. The engine is meant for small UAVs, RC planes and produces a thrust of 20 Kgf the engine has been produced using metal 3D printing. 3D printing jet engines is something a lot of companies are looking at right now. Will Intech use this technology to make commercially available RC engines? Or will they be able to scale up their jet engine effort to ever larger planes?

“Jet engines has been developed by a private establishment and augurs well for the industry in looking inwards for innovation in the high technology aviation sector,” said Sridhar Balaram, Founder and Managing Director, Intech DMLS. “Another Jet engine SJE-350 with a thrust of 350kgf, designed for strategic applications is currently being manufactured. The company also plans to expand into the Turbo Shaft/Fan category in the near future.”

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