3D Printing: The Stories We Missed — February 18, 2017

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Reseller agreements galore, Tri-Tech acquired, a new Silver Member for America Makes, Iran produces its very first bioprinter, more 3D printed guns hysteria and Additive Industries announces the finalists of the Additive World Design Challenge.


Smiles all round in this blurry iphone pic.

Smiles all round in this blurry iPhone pic.

3D Center Becomes an atum3D Reseller

Dutch DLP 3D printer company atum3D has entered into an extensive reseller agreement with 3D Center. 3D Center will represent atum3D in Northern Europe. Atum3D has a 192 x 250 x 120 mm build volume resin based DLP system. The company is notable for being open platform with regards to resins, letting users put in whichever resin they like in the system.  Most DLP and SLA vendors are closed platform or do what they can to discourage people from buying resin from other vendors. This means that DLP and SLA resins often range in price from $99 to $800 per liter. These high prices, and frankly quite inane margins, are a great source of profitability for many SLA and DLP companies. By encouraging other resins atum3D seems to be betting that lower cost parts will let it gain a foothold in manufacturing. Margin versus market, what would you do?


Lucideon Joins America Makes

One of the case studies on Lucideon's website concerns powder handling,a crucial process for industrializing 3D printing for metals.

One of the case studies on Lucideon’s website concerns powder handling,a crucial process for industrializing 3D printing for metals.

Lucideon becomes an America Makes Silver Partner. America Makes is a US-based promoter of 3D printing. The organization doles out cash and connects companies in the 3D printing market. Lucideon is a materials testing company. Lucideon is involved in QA, testing and validation of materials. Their skills are sorely needed in 3D printing if we are to industrialize these technologies. Certification of materials, processes and parts is a mayor focus of many in aerospace and medical for both metal and plastics 3D printing. Seems like a smart move for them to join America Makes. Tiffany Westbay, membership director at America Makes, said:

“America Makes is excited to welcome Lucideon as a Silver member. They bring expertise in a number of materials and technologies. Every new America Makes member helps us to develop a balanced community of diverse organizations. We are certain Lucideon will bring value to the America Makes mission to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing in the U.S.”


Iran Makes a Bioprinter 

The Iranian Bioprinter

A Spanish bioprinter perhaps similar to the new Iranian one.

Iran-based Royan Institute unveiled the country’s first bioprinter. The institute has worked for four years to perfect the device before its unveiling.

“3D bioprinter creates cell patterns in a confined space using 3D printing which preserves all cell features within the final structure printed; the first step will be to print vessels, bones, and cartilages; the more ambitious scheme seeks to render a 3D version of more complex body parts such as vessels in a bone tissue and kidney,” Project Manager Majid Halvaei said. “The early printed material had been simple cells or constellations of cells and only later, bioprinting took a new turn towards complex tissues and even organs when results of laboratory tests were positive. The ultimate objective in developing bioprinter is to emulate the giants of the medicine in reconstruction of body parts which is generally called ‘Reconstruction Medicine;’ medicine has gained most from 3D bioprinting; this is a revolution in science in other sectors such as industries which makes constructing complex products with ease and precision.”

Countries globally are waking up to the potential in bioprinting. Some countries such as the US stimulate industrial 3D printing significantly. Meanwhile no one country has poured a significant amount of money at bioprinting. There is still an opportunity for a nation to make itself the hub for bioprinting globally.


The Media Still Loves 3D Printed Guns (and Australia Still Hates Them)

After Cody Wilson’s moment of fame had vanished we all breathed a collective sigh of relief that the 3D printed guns thing would go away. But, the media is ever intent on creating the world’s newest problems. Australia is now widely talking about 3D printed guns. Which, since every animal in the country seems continually poised to exterminate the local population, should be the least of their worries. What people should know is that 3D printed guns are a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’d like to make a gun at home then lathes or CNC equipment could let you do this easily. Since the invention of machine tools people have been able to buy equipment to make firearms in the home. CNC and lathe made guns out of metal will outperform those made on a 3D printer out of plastic. By giving attention to the idea of 3D printed guns the media is causing people to look at making them. Currently the level of engineering and 3D printing knowledge of those involved in 3D printing guns is laughably inept. Nearly all the smart people are 3D printing lions, prosthetics or holders for things in their homes. A few idiots have been badly designing guns. Every article on 3D printed guns will only encourage more idiots in trying to 3D print guns. Eventually one of those idiots will succeed in killing either themselves or someone else.

I refuse to be a part of making that happen. Hence no image or no link. If you love 3D printing, stop spreading the often ill-informed, hysterical and counterproductive 3D printed guns stories.


Millénium 3D Becomes a German RepRap Reseller 

Team Millenium also believes that iPhone photos are great for blogposts.

Team Millenium also believes that iPhone photos are great for announcements.

German RepRap started out with small tiny machines but now makes CE certified beasts and printers trying to crack the prototyping and production market. Their 1000 x 800 x 600 mm build volume X1000 is a far cry from the rods and belts leaning tower RepRaps of yore and looks very Stratasysy. They’ve now entered into a partnership with Millénium 3D to resell their industrial machines in France, their first such agreement in the country. German RepRap is a prime example of a company trying to make the Innovator’s Dilemma hold true for 3D printing; they started with good enough machines and have increasingly gone higher-end and larger. Will the future of industrial 3D printing be populated by many desktop 3D printer builders? Or will they not be able to cut it in competing with companies such as EOS and 3D Systems?



Finalists Announced for Additive Industries Design Challenge

MetalFAB1, 3D metaalprinter van Additive Industries met Jonas Wintermans (l) & Daan Kersten

“So I’ve made up my mind, I just want a small jet.”

Additive Industries, the Eindhoven-based manufacturer of industrial powder bed fusion metal 3D printers, has announced the finalists of its Additive World Design Challenge. Additive World is a conference focused on industrializing metal 3D printing held by the company each year. Up and until now the Design Challenge has showcased some incredibly high level work. Finalists include a team from the Chocolate Shock Prevention Team from Lareka Confectionery. (Whose name I would from a marketing perspective encourage them to change. I’m thinking rationally that their day jobs have something to do with managing tempering in chocolate but my irrational mind can not worry about a horrible debilitating disease that causes heart anaphylactic shock from consuming too much chocolate. “Tim, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but Uncle George died.” Oh no, what happened?” “Chocolate Shock.” “Oh, how terrible, chocolate shock again just like Enrico and my colleague Martha. I told him to lay off those Kinder Eggs.”) Another finalist is Siemens, who have developed a heat exchanger and Dutch Designer Michael van der Bent who engineered a frame for a quadcopter. In the student category Boris Sokolov ( can not confirm that he is a relative of the pianist but hopes so) who optimized a robot arm, Cassidy Silbernagel (who has a name straight from Harry Potter but mad design for 3D printing skills since he won last year) who made a carburetor. A team from Alliance University India made a model of a Supersonic Wind Tunnel. My money is on the Alliance India guys and Siemens.

Daan, Mr. Metal, Kersten, Additive Industries’ CEO, said:

“The designers took a broader view on design for additive manufacturing and tailored their designs to eliminate manufacturing difficulties, reduce the number of parts, minimize assembly or lower logistics costs, often combined. This clearly underlines the trend that industrial additive manufacturing is maturing’.”

In the often recurring stories of low weight parts and design freedom people often forget that part reduction is an important reason to choose 3D printing over other technologies. By reducing assembly steps, tooling and assembly manufacturers are concentrating their manufacturing risk in 3D printing. They then hope that this will save time and money going forward while reducing error rates. This consideration is one of the main reasons a lot of companies are looking at 3D printing in industrial settings.

Tri-Tech 3D Acquired by Stanford Marsh

Toy robots, are you sure of this Bob?

Toy robots, are you sure this is a good idea Bob?

Tri-Tech 3D, one of the largest Stratasys resellers in the UK, has been acquired by Stanford Marsh. Tri-Tech is a long-standing Stratasys Objet partner in the UK. Stanford Marsh is a large CAD package reseller and also a large distributor of wide format 2D printers. 2D printer distributors and resellers have been showing a healthy interest in 3D printing and 3D printing businesses and are claiming their alliance partners. Mainly focused on industrial systems these companies have the sales forces, contacts and engineers to service nationwide. Will they benefit from their existing business relationships and be able to move 3D printers into enterprises worldwide? Or will smaller nimbler 3D printer resellers outperform them? Discuss in the Stories We Missed forum at


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