3D Printing News Briefs: May 2, 2017


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In 3D Printing News Briefs today, we’re talking about new 3D software, equipment, and materials, a distribution partnership and a new additive manufacturing facility, and a seaworthy 3D printed prosthetic. Mosaic Manufacturing is introducing a new 3D software system, while 3D Platforms is bringing another new piece of equipment to the RAPID + TCT event, and Optomec has improved its Aerosel Jet system’s ability to print copper and copper/nickel inks. Formlabs announced a new distribution partnership, FIT AG inaugurated its new headquarters and manufacturing facility, and a turtle named Sally is getting a 3D printed fin.

Mosaic Manufacturing Announces Multi-Material Software Platform CANVAS

Ontario-based Mosaic Manufacturing, which debuted its innovative Palette device in 2015, believes that multi-color and multi-material will eventually be the industry standard for desktop 3D printers. But there hasn’t been a software platform yet that’s designed so users can seamlessly operate 3D printers for multi-color, multi-material jobs.

In a blog post, Mosaic explained, “If you’ve ever used one of today’s slicers for a multi-color part you know the workflow isn’t exactly…..ideal. From setting up different ‘Processes,’ to assigning portions of a model to a given color or material and making sure nothing overlaps, the current experience is far from intuitive.”

So Mosaic created CANVAS, a universal (but not open-source) platform, compatible with the Ultimaker 3, the BCN3D Sigma, and other .gcode/.x3g multi-material 3D printers, which will help push the company’s goal to standardize multi-color, multi-material desktop 3D printing. The initial focus will be on making the user’s multi-color and multi-material printing experience easier and more efficient by using the CANVAS multi-material slicer to make a simpler workflow, and allow for additional color assignments. The CANVAS Customizer, powered by a CAD engine, will give users control over their products, allowing for customized materials, geometries, aesthetics, and functional properties. Users will also be able to store and share files, models, and printer settings, since the platform is being built in the cloud. CANVAS will first be launched as a free platform, but will include a pricing structure at a later date.

3D Platform Bringing High Flow Extruder to RAPID + TCT

Industrial, large-format 3D printer manufacturer 3D Platform is heading to the RAPID + TCT show in Pittsburgh next week, and has already announced that it will be bringing several new offerings to the show, including new enclosures for its WorkSeries portfolio, its two newest 3D printers, and a High Flow Air Cooled Extruder. Today, 3D Platform is introducing its latest, the High Flow Extruder (HFE300), which will also debut at RAPID + TCT. The 2.85 mm spool-fed extruder is the fastest on the market, quadrupling the volumetric throughput of the company’s previous generation extruders.

Jonathan Schroeder, President of 3D Platform, said, “Our new line of HFE300 extruders are the fastest filament extruders on the market, and offer customers the flexibility to change extruders depending on their application and purpose.”

The new extruder line uses standard, open-market 2.85 mm filament, and is highly reliable, while still producing maximum print output. The HFE300 series comes as an optional upgrade for both the 300 Series WorkbenchPro and the 400 Series WorkbenchXTreme. Stop by 3D Platform’s booth #937 at RAPID + TCT next week to get an up close and personal look at the HFE300 series, and all of the company’s other new products.

Optomec Announces Significantly Improved Performance of Copper Inks for Aerosol Jet System

Optomec, a global supplier of production-grade AM systems for 3D printed metals and electronics, announced that the performance of copper inks for its Aerosol Jet 3D printed electronics systems has been vastly improved. This will help speed up the production of new classes of electronic devices, now that copper and copper/nickel (Constantan) inks can be effectively printed and post-processed on the Aerosol Jet system.

Optomec CTO Mike Renn said, “The general availability of both copper and copper/nickel materials extends Aerosol Jet printing to address our customer’s next generation product development challenges. Optomec’s Advanced Applications Lab has already begun using these innovative materials on applications ranging from embedded sensors, thermistors and flexible electronic circuits.”

Copper is often used to print circuit boards and build components, and the Constantan alloy is used to manufacture critical sensing elements for the IIOT, like strain gauges and thermocouples. Optomec offers both specialized hardware and print recipes to keep the oxygen sensitive materials safe during the printing and curing process, and both copper and Constantan inks from Intrinsiq Materials, Applied Nanotech, Inc., Kuprion, Inc., and PV Nano Cell Ltd. have been successfully printed with Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet technology.

“Applied Nanotech has supplied both Cu and CuNi-alloy ink to Optomec for successful demonstration of printed thermocouple and thermopile devices, and have sampled CuNi-alloy ink to strain gauge manufacturers,” said Richard Fink, President of Applied Nanotech. “Our CuNi-alloy inks are available in two concentration ratios (50-50 and Constantan 55-45 Cu-Ni). Our collaboration with Optomec on next-generation electronic devices has been a win-win for both companies.”

Formlabs Announces BTech as Newest Distribution Partner

Last year, 3D printer designer and manufacturer Formlabs entered a distribution partnership with jewelry making equipment supplier Gesswein. Now, the company has announced its newest distribution partner: Turkish additive manufacturing company BTech, which offers 3D printing solutions and engineering services to the aerospace, defense, and medical/dental industries.

“We are thrilled to be working with such a cutting-edge company like Formlabs. We believe Formlabs products will complement both our own business portfolio and the general additive manufacturing industry very well,” said Kuntay Aktaş, BTech CEO. “Thanks to BTech’s industrial experience and service in 3D printing, we will continue to work for each Turkish professional to get the best product and the best service.”

The partnership will help Formlabs expand its service and sales reach in the region.

“We’re excited to partner with BTech to extend greater service to the Turkish professionals,” said Karl Dirix, Business Development Manager at Formlabs. “Given their great experience in 3D printing solutions, BTech is an excellent partner to bring Formlabs products to the market.”

FIT AG Opens New Headquarters and Manufacturing Facility

German additive manufacturing technology provider FIT AG recently inaugurated its new additive manufacturing facility and new headquarters in Germany, fulfilling its 2015 announcement and €20 million investment to set up a facility that would be solely for additive manufacturing.

“We firmly believe that AM should be a mainstream tool in industrial manufacturing. Our goal is to create a digitized scalable factory and to develop standards for higher volume series metal AM,” explained Carl Fruth, founder and CEO of FIT AG. “To get there, processes still have to be more stable, automated and cost-effective. That’s where we are putting all our energy and ambition every day.”

The facility, after two years of hard work, is now open to the public. FIT said it has the highest capacity in the world for metal part additive manufacturing, and so the new factory’s ground floor is dedicated to the additive manufacturing of metal parts. The first floor will be used to 3D print plastic parts, with a major application being the production of prototypes for the automotive sector.

Leatherback Turtle to Receive 3D Printed Prosthetic Fin

Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium and the Lynch family with Sally

A family in Ireland discovered an injured female leatherback turtle, with one missing fin, in the water near their home in Barrow. The turtle, dubbed Sally, was the victim of a shark attack months ago, and drifted through the North Atlantic before she was rescued by the Lynch family, who took her to the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium in Kerry for urgent veterinary care. Kevin Flannery, who has taken care of many leatherback turtles at Dingle Oceanworld, believes Sally is around 50 years old.

Flannery said, “I don’t know how she even survived the cold of the waters as turtles need the warmth of their usual waters from Miami to the Canaries.”

Sally desperately needed a new fin, so Flannery called the Cork location of medical technology company Stryker, which recently conducted a successful pre-clinical trial of its 3D printed Tritanium Posterior Lumbar interbody cage, to see if it could help. Luckily for Sally and Flannery, the company said yes.

Kevin said, “It’s great news for Sally now after all she’s been through with the Striker (Stryker) company answering our call this week to say they think they can create a polymer/titanium flipper for her pending the outcome of a veterinary assessment.”

To learn more, and to get a look at Sally before she hopefully gets her custom prosthetic fin, watch the Irish Examiner’s video to see Flannery and a marine officer speaking about Sally.

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

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