3D Printing News Briefs: April 18, 2017


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We’re covering 3D printing education, business, international events and conferences, and a couple of Kickstarter campaigns in today’s edition of 3D Printing News Briefs.  Penn State is now offering master’s degrees in 3D printing, while Structo has announced a distribution partnership with 4Qube Solutions. We’ve got highlights from recent manufacturing technology industry event MTA 2017, the International Conference on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing announced an “Industrial Realities of Manufacturing Day” for this summer, and Mimaki USA will preview its new UV-cure inkjet 3D printer prototype at ITA 2017. In addition, both GeckoTek and Makertech 3D are launching Kickstarter campaigns.

Penn State Now Offering 3D Printing Master’s Degree

Pending its presentation to the Board of Trustees, Penn State will be offering residential and online master’s degrees in additive manufacturing and design starting in fall 2017. The residential Master of Science in Additive Manufacturing (MSAMD) and the online Master of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing (MEngAMD) are both 30-credit degrees, and were developed in response to the increased industry demand for additive manufacturing experts. These advanced degrees will be offered to graduate students, in order to provide them both the practical and analytical skills necessary to “digitally design, develop, analyze, numerically model, optimize, fabricate, and inspect new components and subassemblies using additive manufacturing technologies.”

Tim Simpson, the Paul Morrow Professor of Engineering Design and Manufacturing, co-director of the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), and the new degree program director, said, “We are excited to launch the first multidisciplinary graduate-level program in additive manufacturing and design in the country, and in the world as far as we can tell. It has been great working with all five departments to establish this program based on coursework and hands-on labs that we have been offering for nearly five years now.”

Coursework will be integrated across multiple departments and two colleges, and all students enrolled in either the online or residential program are required to spend time working on-site at the university, including in its additive manufacturing laboratory, CIMP-3D, and the Materials Characterization Laboratory (MCL) in the Millennium Sciences Complex. Students will work with both metallic and polymer additive manufacturing systems, and learn to grow as manufacturing leaders, while developing innovative solutions and maintaining high ethical standards.

Structo Announces Distribution Partnership with 4Qube Solutions 

In an effort to continue accelerating its global presence, and to match the high demand for its technology in the US, Singapore-based dental 3D printing solutions provider Structo announced that CAD/CAM solution distributor 4Qube Solutions will be an authorized US distributor of its MSLA-equipped OrthoForm 3D printer.

Dhruv Sahgal, Head of Business Development and Sales at Structo, said, “With more than 30 years of experience and a team of dedicated technicians, we believe 4Qube Solutions’ expertise and approach are a natural fit for Structo’s growth plans in the US. The US market is extremely important for us and we need to invest in the right partners and the right people in order to provide the highest quality of support. Alongside 4Qube, we are investing in a facility in Los Angeles where we can continue our R&D efforts and stay close to our partners and customers.”

4Qube Solutions will expand the reach of Structo’s MSLA-equipped OrthoForm 3D printer in the US, and provide fast response times to technical queries, quality customer service, and after-sales support to regional customers. 4Qube Solutions will be exhibiting at the upcoming American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Annual Session in San Diego next week, and will be offering visitors a hands-on experience with the OrthoForm.

Highlights from Asia’s MTA 2017 Industry Event

Over 10,000 people, from 43 countries and regions, attended MTA 2017 (Manufacturing Technology Asia), Asia’s premier manufacturing technology industry event, which ended last Friday in Singapore. There were 300 exhibits, and the conference got together over 30 industry experts and leaders who shared their thoughts on a variety of topics, from augmented reality and robotics to the IIoT and Industry 4.0.

Mr. William Lim, Project Director for manufacturing events at UBM SES, which organized MTA 2017, said, “We have gathered global industry experts and brands in one place at MTA to showcase a full spectrum of products, solutions and technologies, from precision engineering capabilities serving high-value sectors, to advanced technologies that empower smart manufacturing.”

A big draw at the event was robotics: Epson launched its new N2 robots, featured the world’s first patented compact folding arm technology, while Nachi exhibited its best-selling table top robot, along with its range of robotic arms. Another area of focus at MTA 2017 was 3D printing, and people who visited the show floor exhibits, attended interactive seminars, and went on technology tours were able to see the many different concepts and industrial applications for the technology, across multiple industries. Exhibitors included SLM Solutions, Renishaw, EOS, Siemens, and BeAM, among several others.

“Manufacturing Technology Asia 2017 was a good platform for us to connect with new and existing customers. Our booth on-site enabled us to showcase our new Digital Enterprise Suite, providing attendees with the visual representation of the whole product portfolio, including the Siemens ZerOne.DesIgn Manufacturing Design Consultancy and MindSphere, our cloud-based, open internet-of-things operating systems,” said Raimund Klein, Executive Vice President, Country Lead for Digital Factory (DF) and Process Industries and Drives (PD) divisions, Siemens. “We are excited to bring forward the discussions and look forward to forging new partnerships in Singapore and the overall Southeast Asia region.”

“Industrial Realities of Manufacturing Day” Held Before International Conference on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing 

From July 12 to 13, the 12th annual International Conference on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing will be held in the UK. Over 250 additive manufacturing and 3D printing academics and industry professionals will gather for two days in Nottingham, to share knowledge, ideas, and the latest technology developments. Event registration is currently open, and you can also register for a special conference kick-off event called “Industrial Realities of Manufacturing Day.” Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network, together with its Special Interest Group in Additive Manufacturing, is putting on the event, designed to “help businesses cut through the hype and grasp the opportunities Additive Manufacturing can offer.”

Louise Jones, Knowledge Transfer Manager – Additive Manufacturing at the Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network, said, “We are committed to helping businesses get the most out of creativity, ideas and the latest discoveries, and addressing the realities and pitfalls of technologies is an important piece of this process. We were drawn to the conference’s honest approach to additive technologies as well as its wide range of expert speakers representing innovators in industry, academia and business. This event fits perfectly with our aims as an organisation – to embrace ideas and technologies to strengthen the UK economy and improve people’s lives.”

Several AM experts and practitioners will be speaking at the pre-conference session, including Phil Reeves of Stratasys Expert Services and Sophie Jones from Added Scientific. The speakers will talk about lessons learned and the challenges they’ve faced while using AM technologies. An afternoon session will offer insights and information on the UK’s National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing.

Mimaki USA Debuting 3D Printer Prototype at International Sign Expo

Wide-format inkjet printer and cutter manufacturer Mimaki USA, an operating entity of Japan-based Mimaki Engineering, will be showcasing its new 3D UV-cure inkjet printer prototype at the International Sign Expo 2017 in Las Vegas later this week. Back in 2015, Mimaki Engineering announced its venture into the world of 3D printers and began development on its own full-color machine. The company has now entered the commercialization phase for its “provisionally named” 3DUJ-P 3D printer, after the machine’s recent worldwide introduction at JapanShop last month.

Mimaki’s 3D printer has over 10 million possible color combinations, thanks to its full-color UV-cure method, and offers unique, water-soluble support material that saves time on finishing a product, and allows for fine detail. It offers high quality, precise 3D printing, and the printer also utilizes clear inks, which can be jetted independently or combined with colored ink to make translucent objects.

University of Bristol Student Launching Kickstarter Campaign for Proforge 3D Printer

Adeel Ali, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Bristol, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for his open source Proforge 3D printer. Ali says the 3D printer, which is intended for the average maker or hobbyist and encased in an aluminum and HDPE frame, features off-the-shelf parts, a 200 x 200 mm heated print bed, auto-leveling, a dedicated power supply, and LCD screen/SD card reader.

“I’ve spent the past 4 years involved with 3D printing and the Proforge has gone through 4 prototypes and several prototypes of its motion system for the best solution,” Ali told 3DPrint.com.

The Proforge can also be upgraded to have a full enclosure, and its expandable features include a plotter, a laser engraver, and a light CNC mill. It offers a resolution of up to 50 micron layers, and is compatible with multiple materials, including PETG, ABS, and exotics. Ali is making a maximum of 150 Proforge 3D printers for the campaign, to cut back on “over subscription” clogging, and to ensure that the people who pledged can receive their 3D printers on time. The early bird price is just £279, and the campaign is already approaching its funding goal with 26 days left.

GeckoTek Funding New Product Launch Through Second Kickstarter Campaign

Ohio startup GeckoTek 3D Printer Build Plates, based out of Cincinnati’s HCDC business incubator, is launching a second Kickstarter campaign. The company received $60,000 to set up operations and produce its GeckoTek 3D Printer Build Plate during its 2014 Kickstarter campaign, but thanks to increased product sales (the company has shipped over 5,000 build plates), and end-user suggestions and requests, the startup has developed a new, lower-cost build surface. You’ll want to order the EZ Stick Build Surface fast, as the $15 early bird pre-order reward is already gone.

GeckoTek CEO Brad Ruff said, “We received an amazing response to our original Build Plates, but there are so many different 3D printers out there that we couldn’t make a different size to fit each one. To solve this problem, EZ Stick is made from a durable high-temperature polymer film that you can easily trim with scissors to fit your build platform.”

The EZ Stick Build Surface can be cut with scissors to fit on any 3D printer currently on the market, and its durable coating allows for up to 200 uses before needing a replacement. Its high-temperature, pressure-sensitive adhesive backing allows it to peel and stick to the 3D printer easily, without using any binder clips, and it offers a bubble-free application, thanks to its thick polymer film. The Hot version is for 3D printers with heated beds, which is an ideal choice for engineers and designers, and the Cold version is perfect for educators who prefer a non-heated 3D printer for safety purposes.

What do you think of some of this week’s announcements? Let us know your thoughts in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.

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