3D Printing News Briefs: April 14, 2017


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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’ll take care of a little business first, then move on to a contest, an upcoming event, and a really cool 3D printed trophy. The Dubai Future Accelerator program finishes up round two, while FIT expands its activities in the US. Kabuku hosts a delegation of German government officials, BeeHex finds a partner for its 3D printed vegan pizza crusts, and Access 3D Services is holding a heartwarming 3D design contest. Finally, Methods Machine Tools will showcase its new automation cell at the rapidly approaching RAPID + TCT, and isodo3D uses 3D printing to recreate a famous trophy.

Dubai Future Accelerators Completes Second Round

Dubai Roads and Transportation Authority signs an MoU with Uber during DFA’s closing ceremony

The second cycle of the world’s largest accelerator program for government services, the UAE’s Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA), began in January, and concluded earlier this month. Twelve separate entities participated in the program, which connects government departments in Dubai with innovative, emerging technology companies in an effort to test new approaches at a city-scale. The successful nine-week second round resulted in nearly 30 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) signed between companies around the globe and various Dubai government departments.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Dubai Future Foundation said at the closing ceremony, “The Dubai Future Accelerators program sets an example and a business model where various sectors – public and private – can come together to draw up scenarios to face the challenges of the future, and benefit from the opportunities to secure sustainable development and prosperity for future generations. The second edition of the program witnessed seismic shifts in the field of future technologies. This reiterates the fact that UAE is now a global hub for exporting advanced technologies and a platform to exchange experience and learn about the latest developments. Furthermore, the initiatives launched today will enhance the program’s reputation as the world’s best platform to connect the private and public sectors to build the future.”

In addition to an MoU about autonomous flying vehicle regulations between Uber and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority; several between the Dubai Health Authority and ArcSecond, ASG Medical Equipment, and Photothera Labs regarding advanced health solutions; and many others, the Dubai Municipality signed an MoU promoting 3D printing in construction with Renca. The DFA Future Team Heroes Award was also introduced in this second round, and given to the government team that added significant value to the program and developed innovative solutions; the Dubai Police took first place.

FIT AG Expands US Activities, Names FIT America Inc. Chairman

(L-R) Albert Klein, CFO FIT AG, and Ken Gray, Chairman FIT America Inc.

Additive manufacturing group FIT AG, headquartered in Germany, has decided to expand its activities in the US, and its fully owned subsidiary, re-branded as FIT America Inc., has moved operations to Massachusetts. In addition, Kenneth D. Gray, the former Director of Innovation at Caterpillar Inc. (which recently announced a partnership with FIT AG), has been named the new chairman of FIT America Inc.

FIT America has already established its own subsidiary, Boston Ceramics LLC, which is set to begin operations at its new facility later this month. The company, which will 3D print high quality and high value ceramic consumer objects, tapped Andrew Jeffrey as president; Jeffrey founded Figulo, which was acquired in 2013 by 3D Systems.

“We are delighted to welcome Ken and Andy to the FIT Management Team and with the establishment of our first factory in the United States,” said Carl Fruth, founder and CEO at FIT AG. “We are expecting a major market in the USA for FIT’s additive manufacturing capabilities and have now established a management team and structure to develop more partnerships with US clients and make further investments.”

Japan’s Kabuku Hosted Delegation from German Government

The leading digital manufacturing service provider in Japan, Kabuku, recently hosted a delegation from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The delegation, led by Vice Minister and German Parliament member Dorothee Bär, took place in Kabuku’s Tokyo office, and several representatives from member companies of the public-private partnership Logistics Alliance Germany were also in attendance.

The delegation visited a number of Japanese companies in order to gain a better understanding about how digitalization is influencing the Japanese logistics industry. At a reception for the delegation, Kabuku was able to present about the impact of 3D printing on the contract logistics industry, and showcased its mass customization projects for two Japanese automotive manufacturers. The Logistics Alliance Germany also invited Kabuku to speak on a panel, titled “How to Improve Logistics Processes through New Technologies and Digitalization,” in Tokyo.

BeeHex Announces Collaboration with Cali’Flour for 3D Printed Vegan Pizza Crust

Food personalization and robotics company BeeHex, which recently moved its R&D operations to Columbus, Ohio, has joined forces with Cali’Flour Foods, a top provider of cauliflower-based pizza crusts and plant-based dessert doughs. In less than a minute, the two 3D printed personalized pizzas, shaped like flowers and based on cauliflower, for a sold-out crowd of 300 at Columbus firm GroundWork, which offers IT services to nonprofit entities. BeeHex CEO Anjan Contractor explained that Cali’Flour, and its plant-based, organic approach to crusts, “represents the type of forward-thinking collaborations we’re looking for.”

“The team at BeeHex combines the authenticity and technological capability that it takes to revolutionize how food is made,” said Cali’Flour founder Amy Lacey. “Anjan, Jordan French, Ben Feltner and Chintan Kanuga are rapidly building out what could be the next major ‘platform play’ in the Internet of Things space in a way that let’s people personalize their foods.”

Lacey also mentioned that the system “flawlessly” printed out several of her company’s doughs, which immediately grabbed the attention of the gathered audience. BeeHex is currently working on several pilot programs for its 3D pizza printers, and is also developing fine-point 3D dessert printers.

Access 3D Services Hosting 3D Design Contest

If you’re interested in winning a free MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer, while also working to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities, just enter the Increasing Independence for People with Disabilities 3D Design Contest, hosted by Access 3D Services and its non-profit parent company, Access Independence. The contest has already begun, and ends on May 31; all applicants must be 18 years of age and a US resident. All entries must be the original (non-patented) design of the contest entrant, be capable of production on an FDM 3D printer, and be for an item that can benefit people living with a disability, whether it’s increasing autonomy, independence, or quality of life, or even addressing physical barriers related to disabilities.

Contest sponsors include Airwolf3D and eSun 3D Filament, and the contest judges will include engineers, 3D printing industry professionals, and people with disabilities. The winners will be announced approximately 60 days after the contest ends; the Grand Prize Winner will receive a MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer and $200 worth of 1.75 mm PLA+ material from eSun 3D Filament, and the Runner-Up will get a 7Tech 3D Pen and an AirWolf3D 3 mm Filament Gift Set. Download the Official Entry Form to read the full contest rules and restrictions. Once you’ve completed the form, sign it and upload it, along with your original 3D design (.STL or .OBJ formats only); the upload password is contest.

Methods Machine Tools Inc. Bringing New Automation Cell Solution to RAPID + TCT Show

Precision machine tools and 3D printing technology provider Methods Machine Tools Inc. will be attending the RAPID + TCT Show in Pittsburgh next month, and bringing along its breakthrough automation cell solution. The first-of-its-kind cell brings together subtractive processes, robotics, and additive manufacturing to increase 3D manufacturing throughput, and serves to demonstrate the company’s strength “in designing innovative automation solutions for both additive and traditional manufacturing.”

The 20-foot Methods cell will really speed up the production of 3D printed parts and keep costs down, thanks to its post-process machining operations. It includes an in-feeding station for 3D printed products, which carries the parts into a FANUC C600 EDM machine on build plates; the machine then cuts the parts and build plates apart, and a FANUC robot at the next station snaps the plates off of the parts and sends them for a final machining operation, care of a FANUC RoboDrill.

John Lucier, National Automation Manager at Methods Machine Tools, Inc., said, “This automated lights-out manufacturing cell was designed to drastically reduce the total time to complete parts from 3D printing to final post-processing. It can easily quadruple total part throughput while eliminating manual labor.”

The RAPID + TCT show takes place from May 9-11, and Methods Machine Tools Inc. will be showcasing its new cell solution at booth #2525. 3DPrint.com will, of course, be in attendance at the conference.

isodo3D Uses 3D Printing Technology to Recreate Golf Trophy

3D printing services provider isodo3D, based in the UK, was recently approached by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and IMG Golf with an interesting request: reproduce replicas, using the latest 3D printing and scanning technology, of the famous Falcon Trophy, which is given to the winner of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship golf tournament (for the associated Pro-Am tournament). In the brief, the company was tasked with making 18 quarter-scale replicas: six for each of the upcoming three tournaments. The company determined that 3D printing the falcon and the golf ball from the trophy, but hand-turning the wooden plinths, would be the most cost effective method of reproduction.

“We were keen to achieve the brief and demonstrate how this technology can be used in this way,” said isodo3D Managing Director John Cousins. “These trophies represent the very best in golf and we knew that whoever won one, would have been outstanding in their field. It was our challenge to produce a trophy befitting of the achievements of the winners and I definitely think we met the criteria.”

isodo3D used the HP 3D Structured Light Scanner Pro S3 to scan the original trophy, and used the data to 3D print a master model, with a little help from the prototyping experts at Malcolm Nicholls Limited and its SLA 3D printing technology. The model was hand-finished and painted, and then used as a soft silicone tooling pattern. Polyurethane castings were made, and then sent for plating, with a vacuum metallization method. The wooden bases were laser engraved with logos and tournament sponsors by L Squared Lasers, and then all 18 trophy replicas were assembled, polished, quality checked, and delivered to Abu Dhabi for the tournament. Discuss in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.



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