3D Printing News Briefs: April 21, 2017


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In this week’s second edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about funding, ISO certification and research, and three 3D printers. Steel service center company Klöckner & Co. invests in technology startup BigRep, while Onkos Surgical closes its round of Series B funding. Proto Labs receives important certification for its facility in Japan, and Hong Kong Polytechnic launches a facility solely dedicated to 3D printing research. A team of researchers design and integrate an open source bioprinter, Structo gets a new customer for its DentaForm 3D printer, and the Felix PRO Series 3D printer wins a prestigious award. Read on to learn what’s happening in the world of 3D printing before you take off for the weekend!

Klöckner & Co Makes Strategic Investment in BigRep

Tech startup BigRep, designer and producer of the world’s largest 3D printers, will soon close its international Series B financing round. Making its entry into the future additive manufacturing market, steel and metal product producer and distributor Klöckner & Co, via its venture capital subsidiary kloeckner.v, made a strategic investment in BigRep.

René Gurka, BigRep CEO, said, “Together with Klöckner & Co – the pioneer of digitalization in the steel industry – as our strategic partner, we aim to exploit this trend as we move forward.”

As Klöckner & Co, which supplies over 130,000 customers in multiple industries, continues to drive its digitalization strategy, it will also begin using BigRep’s industrial 3D printers in its large US and European site network. With an expected annual growth rate of around 20% by 2020, the market segment looks pretty promising.

“The systematic emphases of our Klöckner & Co 2020 strategy are digitalizing the supply and value chain as well as boosting higher value-added products and services. Our investment in BigRep targets both elements of the strategy, paving the way to our participation in a highly promising growth market,” said Gisbert Rühl, Chairman of the Management Board of Klöckner & Co SE.

Onkos Surgical Closes $17.6M Series B Funding Round

Specialty medtech company Onkos Surgical, Inc., which focuses on surgical oncology, just closed a $17.6 million Series B funding round, and plans to use the funding to drive growth and innovation by expanding its marketing, R&D, and sales platforms in order to improve the lives of surgical oncology patients. Current investors 3D Systems and 1315 Capital participated, but the funding round was led by early stage venture capital firm Canaan Partners. Stephen Bloch, General Partner at Canaan Partners, will now join the Onkos Surgical Board of Directors.

Patrick Treacy, CEO and co-founder of Onkos Surgical, said, “Every day, musculoskeletal oncologists and their patients are faced with clinical challenges that have been overlooked for too long. We have the portfolio to deliver meaningful innovation with our advanced 3D printing capabilities, limb restoration technologies, and biologic solutions – all enabled with a unique service and surgical planning platform called uDesign Patient Solutions.

The addition of leading investor Canaan Partners to our roster of investors further validates our opportunity to serve this unique and underserved market. The combined intellectual capital and operating experience that Canaan Partners, 1315 Capital and 3D Systems provides to our leadership team will enable us to scale our business rapidly and efficiently.”

Proto Labs Gains ISO Certification for Japanese Facility

Custom prototyping and low-volume manufacturing company Proto Labs recently showed the 3D printing world how dedicated it is to global standardization, by acquiring three ISO certifications for the manufacturing facility it opened in Japan back in 2009. By securing these important ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certifications, the company will be able to continue its growth in the Japanese market.

ISO 9001 is the quality management system that works to grow customer satisfaction by improving product and service quality, while ISO 14001 is the environmental management system, which complies with environmental regulations, improves environmental management based on sustainability, and reduces environmental impacts. The information security management system, or ISO 27001, identifies and assesses various information management risks, in order to keep the company on track to continuously improving its information security.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University Holds Grand Opening for 3D Printing Research Facility

U3DP Opening Ceremony Officiates (L-R): Professor Timothy W. Tong, PolyU President; Mr Chan Tze-ching, PolyU Council Chairman; Professor John Leong Chi-yan, Chairman of Hospital Authority; Professor Philip Chan, PolyU Deputy President and Provost

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has officially launched its University Research Facility in 3D Printing (U3DP), which is not only the largest 3D printing research center in Hong Kong, but is also the first 3D printing facility among all higher education institutions in Hong Kong to support learning, research, and teaching.

“The U3DP will provide an innovative and inspirational environment for faculty members and students to make the best use of their capability in innovation and creativity,” Mr. Chan Tze-ching, PolyU Council Chairman said at the Opening Ceremony. “It will also help strengthen industry-PolyU collaboration through research and consultancy.”

The Hong Kong government has pledged to support Industry 4.0 development, and the U3DP will be an important part of that process, as it facilitates important research. The state-of-the-art, 620-square-meter facility is expected to assist both students and faculty thanks to its 3D scanning and CAD design modeling capabilities, and over 50 3D printers with various functions and a full range of materials. U3DP visitors will be able to turn ideas into physical models, collaborate with a range of industries, develop new structures and materials, and personalize designs.

Researchers at Seoul National University of Science and Technology Design 3D Bioprinter System

A group of researchers from the Seoul National University of Science and Technology in South Korea published a paper in the International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing about the work they have done on designing and integrating a desktop, multi-channel 3D bioprinting system. Additionally, because the 3D bioprinter uses open source hardware and software, the system is also affordable. The paper is titled “A desktop multi-material 3D bio-printing system with open-source hardware and software,” and co-authors include Jaehoo Lee, Kyu Eon Kim, and Chibum Lee from the university’s Department of Mechanical System & Design Engineering; Insup Noh with the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; and Sumi Bang, with the university’s Convergence Institute of Biomedical Engineering & Biomaterials.

The abstract reads, “Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is considered to be a major driving innovation in tissue engineering, since a custom-made manufacturing for patients is essential for tissue and organ generation. Depending on the bio-materials and the applications, various 3D bio-printing technologies are used. A system capable of printing a variety of bio-materials through various methods is required for fabrication of hybrid scaffolds for tissue engineering research. This paper describes the design and integration of a multi-channel 3D bio-printing system at an affordable price based on open source hardware and software. The hardware and software components of the 3D bio-printing system and the process of finding optimal printing conditions are described in the paper. Fabrication of the hybrid scaffold of synthetic polymer and cell loaded hydrogel are presented to validate the performance of the system.”

Structo Announces DentaForm 3D Printer Launch Customer, Glidewell Dental

Singapore-based dental 3D printing solutions provider Structo, with its proprietary MSLA technology, designs, develops, and builds 3D printers for dental applications. Structo just announced that it has expanded its partnership with Glidewell Dental, a leading provider of dental products, laboratory services, and high-quality restorations based out of California. After using three of Structo’s OrthoForm 3D printers, Glidewell Dental decided to further integrate Structo’s offerings and purchased two DentaForm 3D printers. The DentaForm only debuted a few months ago, and will allow Glidewell Dental to expand its production capabilities, while keeping upfront costs low.

With its two new DentaForm 3D printers, Glidewell Dental now operates five Structo machines in its production facilities. Due to Structo’s high throughput capabilities, the two DentaForm printers do more work than several other printers combined. The company may purchase more DentaForm 3D printers later this year.

David Leeson, Director of Engineering at Glidewell Dental, said, “Structo’s unique MSLA technology is just the type of innovation the industry needs. We are very excited to continue this partnership with Structo and improve our production efficiency by adopting the newly launched DentaForm 3D printer.

Operating two of Structo’s new printers is not only sufficient to replace a number of our existing printers, but also allows us to increase capacity overall.”

FELIX Pro 3D Printer Series Takes Home Top Prize

Dutch 3D printer manufacturer FELIXprinters took home the top prize at the 2017 European Product Design Awards for its top-model FELIX Pro Series. The series, which consists of the Pro 2 and the Pro 2 Touch, won the gold in the Office Equipment, Productivity Tools & Presentations category. FELIXprinters said that it couldn’t have gotten to the top without its design partner, fellow Dutch company Spark Design, which was involved from the very beginning.

“In the early stages of the development we worked very closely with Spark Design,” said Guillaume Feliksdal, CEO and head of engineerint at FELIXprinters. “Together with them we have drawn the primary design and determined the Pro Series features. The many hours we have both invested in the development truly paid off: we have a unique and eye-catching design.  I am of course very proud that we’ve earned a gold award for the machine that we have both worked on.”

The FELIX Pro series has an eye-catching, user-friendly design, and looks right at home in an office environment. Its tilting print bed mount reduced the box size by 50%, which made shipping easier and less expensive, and the print bed itself has mechanical auto-leveling and a magnet-fix. A hot-end mounting system allows hot-end replacements to happen in seconds, and the hot-end has been integrated with a probing sensor. Additionally, a nozzle retractor in the dual head system allows for easy multi-material printing, making it a true portable desktop 3D printer for professional use. Discuss in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.


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