3D Printing News Briefs: May 30, 2017


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In 3D Printing News Briefs today, Gilmour Space Technologies has secured Series A funding to develop its hybrid-engine rockets that use 3D printed fuel, while Oventus Medical signs a manufacturing agreement with Modern Dental. colorFabb is named the exclusive material partner for BlackBelt 3D, and Triton3D launches its new Stratasys-compatible materials. Finally, Dürr Systems will use the CETOL 6σ Tolerance Analysis software solution by Sigmetrix, while the newly introduced Rolls-Royce Sweptail features a 3D printed lower grille and Ultimaker introduces its Education Challenge.

Gilmour Space Technologies Secures AUD 5 Million in Series A Funding

Australian rocket startup Gilmour Space Technologies, on a mission to offer affordable space launch services to the small satellite (smallsat) industry in the region, recently received AUD 5 million (US$3.7 million) in Series A funding to work on developing and launching its low-cost, hybrid-engine rockets. The rockets, which use 3D printed fuel, are intended for the small payload market of smallsats, which are below 500 kg and could potentially be used to enhance global coverage and connectivity for deeper earth observations and space-based communications.

“Today’s smallsats are getting smaller, cheaper and a lot more capable, and they are changing our perception of what’s possible in space,” said Adam Gilmour, the Founder and CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies. “Unfortunately, what is severely lacking is the means of getting these innovations to where they need to be, and that’s where Gilmour Space comes in – to meet the growing demand for more affordable and reliable transportation to space.”

With the help of its recently secured Series A funding from Australia’s Blackbird Ventures and Silicon Valley-based global venture capital firm 500 Startups, Gilmour Space Technologies plans to launch its first commercial rockets to suborbital space by 2018, and launch to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by 2020. Additionally, the startup, which currently employs 20 engineers and other staff in its Australia and Singapore locations, is looking to add more employees in the coming year.

Oventus Medical and Modern Dental Sign Manufacturing Agreement

Medical device company Oventus Medical Ltd., located in Brisbane, Australia, announced today that it has entered into a manufacturing agreement with Modern Dental Group, based in Hong Kong. The non-exclusive agreement will begin immediately, and relates to the co-manufacturing of Oventus’ proprietary, FDA-approved O2Vent products. Oventus will continue to design and 3D print its airway components, which are used while a person is sleeping to help treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, and Modern Dental, which is the world’s leading provider of dental prosthetic devices, will complete the device with traditional dental laboratory manufacturing methods.

“We are very pleased to have entered into a manufacturing agreement with Modern Dental. The agreement allows us to focus on the manufacture of our unique differentiating feature – the Oventus Airway Technology that distinguishes us from all other appliances in the market,” said Oventus Managing Director and CEO Neil Anderson. “Our strategy is to commercialise a range of oral appliances with our proprietary airway design that have the various lower jaw advancement mechanisms. To date this includes three custom made appliances. Modern Dental will be able to manufacture the volumes required to meet the future demand for our products and at relatively short notice.”

The agreement, which will allow Oventus to rapidly scale up its manufacturing for a lower cost, will just be for smaller volumes in the Australian market before moving to the US market later this year.

BlackBelt 3D Printer Kickstarter Campaign Launching Soon, colorFabb Named Exclusive Material Partner

Earlier this month, we introduced you to the FDM BlackBelt 3D printer by BlackBelt 3D BV. It’s a new industrial production machine, and uses a conveyor belt, made with a unique composite material, as a build platform. Printing at a 45° angle allows the machine to manufacture very long parts, with unsupported overhangs, for less cost, in less time. It’s not just a prototype, either: Stephan Schürmann, a former employee at colorFabb, has spent four years working on the BlackBelt, and earlier this year left colorFabb to focus all of his time on continuing to develop his innovative 3D printer.

The colorFabb team wrote, “This brand new 3D printer company revealed its concept a little over a month ago on Twitter and has gained a following of nearly 700 3D printing enthusiasts ever since. We were among the first followers and strong advocates. And this is not without reason.”

colorFabb materials were exclusively used in the testing phase for the BlackBelt 3D printer, and colorFabb has just announced that it is BlackBelt’s official materials partner. The BlackBelt 3D printer’s Kickstarter campaign, which will go live this Thursday, June 1, at 3 pm CET, offers a super early bird discount of €5,500 for the desktop version of the BlackBelt 3D 3D printer. If you can’t swing that much, a pledge of €35 will get you a BlackBelt t-shirt.

Triton3D Launching New Line of Stratasys-Compatible Materials

OEM-compatible 3D printing materials supplier Triton3D aims to make high-performance 3D printing materials more accessible to the greater 3D printing community by offering less expensive options. In this vein, the company announced that it is launching an online platform where customers can buy alternative 3D printing materials, like ABS, Ultem PEI, and Polycarbonate, that are fully compatible with Stratasys’ Fortus and Dimension 3D printers, but for a significantly lower cost. Its new Stratasys-compatible materials series is equipped with corresponding EEPROM chips, so Stratasys 3D printing systems can read them. Triton3D clients will be able to save up to 25% on material purchases, compared to Stratasys’ current market prices.

The company’s material offerings for Stratasys’ Fortus 360, 400, and 900mc systems include Ultem 9085 model and support, Ultem 1010 model, black/white polycarbonate, and black/white PC/ABS. Triton3D also plans to expand its range of Stratasys-compatible materials, and will be offering value-added grades that can be used with existing Stratasys chip settings. Additionally, the company has developed several specialty formulations of ABS filaments, which have been adapted to work on standard M30, P430, and P400 settings; these formulations include:

  • ESD-PC and ESD-ABS: available June 1
  • CF-ABS, Transparent ABS, and ASA: available July 1
  • ABS: available August 1

Dürr Systems Will Use CETOL 6σ Tolerance Analysis Solution by Sigmetrix

Top mechanical and plant engineering company Dürr Systems AG, part of the Dürr Group, has selected global software solutions provider Sigmetrix as its 3D tolerance analysis software, and will be employing its CETOL 6σ solution to optimize costs, speed up product development, and improve product quality. The CETOL 6σ software provides necessary insight to product development teams, so they can release designs to manufacturing with confidence. It uses advanced mathematical solutions to accelerate optimization and produce manufacturing-ready designs. The software is used all over the world by mechanical and manufacturing engineers to “visualize the impact that tolerance changes will have on their overall assembly.”

“Because Dürr’s mission is to provide our customers with cost-effective products that are superior in design, quality, and reliability, we employ CETOL 6σ to derive optimal designs. CETOL 6σ gives our engineers a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between assembly components. It gives us the ability to recognize the components with the greatest effect on overall quality, and an understanding from a variety of statistical perspectives the effect tolerance changes will have on product quality,” said Dürr Systems AG Project Manager for Tolerance Analysis, Mario Schäfer. “Another important CETOL 6σ feature is that the analysis is retained with the model so that downstream product development time is reduced. The direct interface with the 3D model provides analysis capabilities that exceed spreadsheet calculations, with a higher level of confidence in the accuracy. CETOL 6σ has become a key engineering tool at Dürr Systems AG. It complements our advanced engineering abilities in energy efficiency technology and our commitment to satisfy our customers’ demands for innovative products that are always reliable in a very fast-changing marketplace.”

One-of-a-Kind $13M Rolls-Royce Sweptail Features 3D Printed Lower Grille

For the first time in seventy years, a coach-built luxury Rolls-Royce car has been introduced. The elegant two-door Sweptail was recently unveiled at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, ending a long journey that began four years ago, when the car-maker was approached by a unidentified brand aficionado about building a “truly bespoke Roller.” Since custom coach-built bodies have long since gone by the wayside, Rolls-Royce was excited to take the project on.

“We were very eagerly but quietly waiting for somebody like this to come along. We’ve worked for the last four years to realize this particular vision with a fully coach-built Rolls-Royce,” said global director of communications for Rolls-Royce Richard Carter.

The manufacturer worked closely with the client during the process, along with close to 40 designers, testers, craftspeople, and engineers. Aluminum panels were hand-hammered and installed, except for the hood, and the car also features a 3D printed lower grille, which is framed by a brushed aluminum surround. The sculptural car has floating headlights, and the Pantheon grille was milled from a single block of aluminum, replacing its conventional, multi-piece stainless steel construction. Its custom interior cabin has a complex rear deck, framed by a glass roof, and a minimalist instrument panel. Additionally, a hinged champagne and crystal flute dispenser, which presents a bottle of 1970 Dom Perignon, is between the front seats, so it’s not surprising that the Sweptail is rumored to have cost $13 million.

Ultimaker Launches Education Challenge for Teachers

Ultimaker is launching a new challenge, geared toward educators and teachers who believe it’s vitally important that students discover their talents, and learn by experimenting and exploring. The Ultimaker Education Challenge gives teachers the chance to develop an innovative lesson plan for their students, which incorporates an authentic 3D printing learning experience and includes preparation, objectives, prerequisite learning, and instructions. The challenge is only open to educators in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
Each winning school will receive either an Ultimaker 2+ or an Ultimaker 3, eight spools of 3D printing material, and comprehensive training; additionally, the winners will be invited to join Ultimaker’s Pioneer Program. All challenge submissions must be in English, and submitted in full before September 15, 2017; the winners will be announced on October 30, 2017. The projects will be judged based on multiple criteria, including visual appeal, functionality, and originality. Once your project is developed, complete the entry form and upload the project here; all file formats are accepted. Check the contest page for more details and full submission requirements. Discuss these stories in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.

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