While it may seem as though everyone in the 3D printing industry is trying to outdo each other, the fact is that without companies working together, the industry wouldn’t be nearly as far along as it is now. Partnerships are crucial to advancing 3D printing technology, and this week has seen an especially large number of companies – as well as entire nations – signing agreements to work together to use technology to advance their missions.
Optomec’s modular LENS Print Engine is designed specifically to be integrated with other metal fabrication tools such as CNC machines, lathes, robots, custom gantries, laser cutters, and more. Featuring Optomec’s patented technology like Steady Flow powder feeders and LENS deposition head with SmartAM closed loop process control, the system can be adapted to create custom hybrid machines, and the latest to do so is Tongtai Machine & Tool Company, one of Taiwan’s largest machine tool suppliers. Tongtai will be integrating the LENS Print Engine into their AMH-350 (Additive Manufacturing-Hybrid) vertical milling machine to add metal additive manufacturing capabilities.
“The brand recognition for LENS along with Optomec’s successful track record in metal additive manufacturing were key factors in our decision to integrate the LENS Print Engine into our machines,” said Chairman Yen Jui-Hsiung of Tongtai. “Our partnership with Optomec will enable our customers to cost-effectively integrate this functionality into their manufacturing processes.”
Meanwhile, Markforged has signed an agreement with engineering and manufacturing solutions provider Saratech, which will sell and provide service and support for Markforged’s 3D printer line, including the Onyx Series, Mark Two, Mark X, and Metal X.
“Our mission is to enable our customers to optimize their engineering investments. We feel the Markforged additive manufacturing solutions both today and into the future offers our customers the opportunity to make high quality products with a very reasonable investment,” said Saeed Paydarfar, CEO of Saratech. “The Markforged line of 3D printers allows us to provide customers with advanced and cost-effective technology that makes design-to-part a reality.”
Finally, cybersecurity company WISeKey is teaming up not with another company, but with an entire country. WISeKey announced plans to establish a Blockchain/IoT Center of Excellence in Rwanda, which will serve as a launch pad for a “Trusted Blockchain as a Service” platform for the creation of a Blockchain Ecosystem in the country. The project, which is part of the Smart Africa initiative to advance Fourth Industrial Revolution technology in Africa, will involve WISeKey working with experts from business, industry and academia to identify businesses’ Blockchain opportunities. At the Center of Excellence, local companies will work alongside WISeKey to conduct research, rapid pilot prototyping, IP creation and more. WISeKey will also be localizing a WISeID Blockchain for digital identity protection in Rwanda.
“Rwanda and its government are to be commended for their vision and action to establish the country as one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world,” said Carlos Moreira, Founder and CEO of WISeKey. “We strongly believe that the Blockchain/IoT Center of Excellence will enable dramatic increases in business volume and efficiencies. Establishing Rwanda as a Blockchain/IoT service hub will provide benefits across many industries and encourage technological developments that can serve the continent.”
Minister Nsengimana added, “To succeed in making African homes, offices, schools and cities smart, we have to harness opportunities in exponential technologies. These technologies include artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, big data, internet of things (IoT), Blockchain, and 3D printing.”
Discuss in the 3D Printing Partnerships forum at 3DPB.com.
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