3D Printing News Briefs: April 4, 2017


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In this week’s first edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about new machines, a new material, a strategic investment, and an increase to a technology grant program. Peopoly launched a Kickstarter campaign for its Moai SLA 3D printer, while EnvisionTEC and 3Shape offer a new turnkey system and Laser Design demonstrates its CyberGage360 3D scanning inspection system. Verbatim introduces its new polypropylene filament, LPW Technology receives a strategic investment from Stratasys to develop end-to-end metal powder solutions, and SolidProfessor makes an increase to its Technology Grant program.

Peopoly Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Moai SLA 3D Printer

What began as a personal project between friends trying to build FDM 3D printers became Peopoly. The team, unhappy with the low resolution FDM results it was getting, eventually turned its attentions to laser-based SLA 3D printers, and began developing its high-resolution laser SLA Moai 3D printer. Peopoly launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Moai two weeks ago, and with 19 days still left in the campaign, it’s already received over 300% its funding goal and is closing in on the $100K mark.

Peopoly’s Shu Peng told 3DPrint.com, “You might be thinking: geez another Kickstarter campaign?  Our is a little different because not only we have pre-production units for review before the campaign, we even took a kit to Midwest Reprap Festival last week to showcase it.  To demonstrate how easy it was to assemble and print, we brought only parts to the event and build it right at the event with everyone watching.”

When you consider all of the attractive features of the Moai, it’s not surprising that the 3D printer was funded so quickly. In addition to a relatively fast assembly time of four hours, the Moai offers a 70 micron laser spot, a high XY resolution of 70 μm, and a good print volume of 13 x 13 x 18 cm. It uses standard Gcode to print, which is compatible with many open source platforms, and has fully adjustable laser settings: Peopoly encourages users to experiment with the Moai. It’s also a safer printer, as it requires 40% less power and uses alcohol-based resin. Check out the Kickstarter campaign and video to learn more.

Turnkey System from EnvisionTEC and 3Shape to 3D Scan and Print In-Ear Devices

Professional-grade 3D printing solutions provider EnvisionTEC, which announced a partnership just last month with 3D scanning and CAD/CAM software leader 3Shape, this week announced the duo’s work to launch a new turnkey system to scan, model, and 3D print in-ear devices. EnvisionTEC had led the charge for bringing 3D printing technology to the hearing aid industry, so this is an area they know especially well. The new system will be at the AudiologyNow event in Indiana this week, and the companies will demonstrate together how software, scanning, and 3D printers can work together to deliver a cost-effective and efficient customized solution for hearing aid patients and clinicians.

“EnvisionTEC is proud to continue partnering with 3Shape to deliver an integrated solution to the in-ear device market,” said EnvisionTEC CEO Al Siblani. “Together, our 3D technologies delivers fast, reliable, custom solutions to hearing care professionals and their patients every day.”

The integrated turnkey system for audiology professionals includes either the EnvisionTEC Vida Hi-Res DSP 3D printer or the EnvisionTEC Micro Plus Advantage 3D printer, an Otoflash curing unit, a 3Shape H600 3D scanner for scanning ear impressions, a 3Shape software package made up of the EarMouldDesigner, ShellDesigner, and CAMbridge 3D print job management system, along with training on the 3D printer, scanner, and software. Package pricing for the turnkey system depends on the 3D printer model chosen.

Laser Design to Demonstrate New CyberGage360 3D Scanning Inspection System

3D scanning systems and services provider Laser Design, Inc., a subsidiary of CyberOptics, has announced that it will bring its new CyberGage360 3D scanning and inspection system to the Control show in Germany next month. The super-fast, metrology-grade, one-button automated system will be demonstrated at Laser Design’s booth #7236.

The system has several potential applications in fields where high speed and accuracy is important, such as consumer electronics, aerospace, automotive, and medical. The CyberGage360 incorporates CyberOptics’ proprietary 3D Multi-Reflection Suppression (MRS) technology, and can quickly replace traditional gauges and complex Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), thanks to its 7 micron accuracy. It’s easy to set up, program, and operate the system, which generates a precise 360° 3D scan and 3D inspection report in just a few minutes, with the push of a simple button.

C. Martin Schuster, President and CEO of Laser Design, said, “The CyberGage360 is as easy to use as a microwave oven. Simply put your part in, press the button and in a few minutes, you have a highly precise, full 3D scan and inspection report. Manufacturers can quickly check and confirm if the components they are making match the specifications. Ultimately, they can reduce their cost of quality.”

Verbatim Announces New Polypropylene Filament

Verbatim, part of the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group, just announced its newest 3D printing material: polypropylene (PP), a thermoplastic polymer that’s one of the most commonly used plastics in the industry and offers good hinge resistance and high levels of heat, chemical, and fatigue resistance. Verbatim’s new PP filament is manufactured in Japan, and complements the company’s existing filament portfolio of high-quality ABS, PET, PLA, and ultra-flexible PRIMALLOY (TPE) materials.

Users of this new filament will be able to make 3D printed products and prototypes for multiple industries, including pharmaceutical, toy, and automotive, which all require objects that are exposed to environments affected by chemicals. The material is available in a transparent, shiny color, at thicknesses of 1.75 and 2.85mm, and once it’s extruded, delivers a smooth surface finish and good stiffness and tensile strength.

Shigeyuki Furomoto, 3D Printer Materials Business Department, Mitsubishi Chemical Media, said, “Compared to other 3D filaments such as ABS and PLA, PP offers high levels of heat, chemical, and fatigue resistance, so we expect it to be very popular within the industrial design community. Due to its resistance to acids, alkalis and organic solvents, PP will open up new opportunities for 3D printed solutions that other materials have not been able to satisfy until now.”

Check out the video to see the Leapfrog Bolt 3D printer printing an object with Verbatim’s new polypropylene filament:

LPW Technology Receives Strategic Investment from Stratasys

UK-based LPW Technology, which develops, manufactures, and supplies metal powder end-to-end additive manufacturing solutions, has received a substantial strategic investment by 3D printing solutions company Stratasys.
“LPW’s vision is closely aligned with our goal of bringing 3D printing to production environments through closely integrated solutions, combining materials, software and hardware,” said Alon Elie, Stratasys Vice President of Corporate Development. “As metal 3D printing extends to production environments, issues of quality control, integrated workflows, and process know-how become more critical in the supply chain. This investment in LPW is part of our strategic decision to strengthen our knowledge and expertise in metal additive manufacturing, in which we are already active today via Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.”
The Stratasys investment represents the very first consolidated partnership agreement born out of LPW’s approach to building working relationships with 3D printing leaders; though Stratasys is now a strategic investor, LPW will continue to be majority-owned by its founder and CEO, Dr. Phil Carroll.
“This investment will be focused on establishing new facilities in both the UK and US, further developing LPW’s PowderLife and other processing solutions. The Stratasys investment demonstrates confidence in LPW’s solutions for metal additive manufacturing powders,” explained Dr. Carroll. “We have worked with Stratasys through its parts-on-demand unit – Stratasys Direct Manufacturing – for over three years. We recognize that it, together with the Stratasys solution business units, brings deep understanding and experience in production across the vertical markets. They will help us realize our strategic growth plans to ensure the LPW solutions meets the requirements of the medical, aerospace, defence and automotive segments.”

SolidProfessor Expands Technology Grant Program for Schools

Online learning company SolidProfessor, which is focused on the technologies and tools that are used in design and engineering for those who sign up to learn, upped its Technology Grant Program, after it noticed the “tremendous success” the schools that implemented the grants were enjoying.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, SolidProfessor provided a little over $3 million to schools; during the 2016-2017 academic year, it provided more than $10.5 million to various middle schools, high schools, community colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions. The lucky grant recipient schools were able to add industry-leading curriculum to help students learn technical skills at a fraction of the commercial cost.

“The skills gap in STEM fields is a problem that we can help solve for our commercial customers by providing schools with top-tier learning resources,” said Matt May, Director of Sales at SolidProfessor. “Students are looking for engaging multimedia content and will flock to programs that deliver more than a textbook learning experience. SolidProfessor helps instructors deliver cutting edge curriculum that will prepare students for in-demand careers.”

Shawn Kerr, who teaches STEM courses at Alcoa High School, said that the public school utilized SolidProfessor’s Technology Grant Program to build a more consistent and exacting STEM education program for its students. Kerr took the grant money and ran with it, and successfully implemented the new STEM program.

“We have industry in the area that uses SOLIDWORKS, so we decided that’s what we were going to offer so that kids would leave our high school and have the necessary experience,” Kerr explained. “I was looking for a program last year – me being new to it – trying to find a good, cohesive way to teach CAD when I came across SolidProfessor’s Technology Grant Program.”

School administrators and teachers can apply for a SolidProfessor Technology Grant here, while students and parents can nominate their school here.

Discuss in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.


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