Happy Friday…and happy June! In this week’s second edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’ll start off with something theatrical and fun, and then jump into a lot of 3D printing business news. Cirque du Soleil is using 3D printers to make costume components for its Kooza show, while GoPrint3D, XYZprinting, and FELIXprinters have all announced 3D printing industry partnerships. Veloxint has made a strategic investment and technology development agreement, and one of its target markets is 3D printing. Nano Dimension raises $4.7 million in private funding, while Oak Ridge National Laboratory introduces its new director and TechShop Pittsburgh announces that it will soon be closing its doors.
Cirque du Soleil Saves Time on Costume Design with 3D Printing
In 2015, we learned that Cirque du Soleil used 3D printing in its Canadian workshops to help make hats and other costume pieces. Kooza, the current show in Perth, also features 3D printed costume pieces, but it is the first Cirque production to actually have a 3D printer (which appears to be a LulzBot) on site in the costume department. The 3D printer can work with materials like silver, bamboo, and flexible plastic; this last option really helped with the King’s crown. The old crown was made of rubber, and took workers 60 hours to make. Cirque went through about three each year, but the flexible 3D printed crown, which now only takes 16 hours to print, lasts for two years.
The costume department used to spend eight hours a day, six days a week, just on costume maintenance, but the department’s 3D printer has saved the workers over 40 hours a week, which also leaves a much smaller global footprint.
Kooza’s head of wardrobe, Jason Brass, said, “So far it’s been working like a dream.”
Kooza runs until June 11 at Belmont Park Racecourse.
GoPrint3D and EnvisionTEC Team Up to Bring Advanced 3D Printing Technology to Customers
UK-based 3D printer and printing supplies retailer GoPrint3D announced that it would be partnering with industrial 3D printer manufacturer EnvisionTEC, in order to bring accurate, fast, and reliable 3D printing technologies and solutions to more professionals.
Joanna Young, Managing Director at GoPrint3D, said, “We’re delighted to announce EnvisionTEC as our latest 3D partner. EnvisionTEC is a company that prides itself on innovation and believes in creating the best 3D printers in the world. GoPrint3D shares the same passion for 3D printing.”
GoPrint3D currently sells the top desktop FFF and SLA 3D printers for designers, educators, and manufacturers, but now it will also carry a variety of larger-format, industrial-grade 3D printers from EnvisonTEC, which include the Desktop, Perfactory, and 3SP families that use DLP and 3SP technologies.
XYZprinting Announces Partnership with HTC VIVE
So its users will be able to design 3D models in virtual reality environments, 3D printer manufacturer XYZprinting announced that it will be partnering with HTC VIVE. Its 3D scanners and printers will now become compatible HTC VIVE’s VR devices, in order to consolidate modeling and structural design in production and industrial manufacturing. The partnership was revealed at Computex Taipei, which ends tomorrow.
“In the past three years, XYZprinting has successful secured a leading position in the consumer 3D printing market. As we continue to evolve our technology, we are also getting closer to accessible and affordable business and industrial applications,” said XYZprinting CEO Simon Shen. “A future where 3D printers are a key feature of any factory, office, school and home is near and we’re delighted to be spearheading the movement.”
You can visit the XYZprinting Computex booth #L1209 in Nangang Exhibition Hall 1 to learn more.
FELIXprinters Chooses MRPEasy to Manage Its 3D Printer Manufacturing Processes
Dutch 3D printer maker FELIXprinters is focused on creating easy-to-use products that are upgradable and fit for purpose. The company was in need of a manufacturing management process for its award-winning 3D printers, and chose MRPEasy, a cloud-based manufacturing resource and production planning software platform, for the job. The MRPEasy platform is well-suited for small and medium-sized manufacturers, as it is subscription-based and removes the upfront costs for clients.
“To keep up with the growing demand of orders, and to optimize the purchasing process, we had to invest in a modern and flexible production planning system,” explained Guillaume Feliksdal, CEO of FELIXprinters. “At the end of our research, we’ve chosen MRPEasy because it perfectly syncs with our (online) requirements; particularly beneficial for us is the seamless integration with our online order system, Magento.”
3D Printing is a Target Market for Veloxint and Stanley Black & Decker
High-tech startup Veloxint Corporation, which developed nanocrystalline metal alloys with transformational properties, announced that it has entered into a strategic investment and technology development agreement with the world’s largest tools and storage company, Stanley Black & Decker. Both companies, located on the East Coast of the US, will collaborate to accelerate the commercialization of Veloxint’s breakthrough metal alloys for “applications of mutual interest.”
Alan Lund, CEO of Veloxint, said, “We’re excited about our collaboration and see this as a win-win for Veloxint and Stanley Black & Decker. The funding will allow Veloxint to accelerate its development activities, and the partnership will give Stanley Black & Decker access to more world-leading technology to incorporate into their products.”
Veloxint’s new alloys are about two to five times stronger than traditional alloys, while also hanging on to the toughness and ductility of the base metal. They were designed for thermodynamic stability, in order to provide long-term stable operation, including at high temperatures. The technology is being targeted toward several different markets, including 3D printing, construction, automotive, military, and aerospace. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nano Dimension Gains $4.7M Private Placement Funding
Nano Dimension, a leader in 3D printed electronics that developed the DragonFly 2020 PCB 3D printer, has signed private placement agreements with investors in Israel and other countries. The total amount of funding was about $4.7 million (NIS 17 million), and the company will be issuing 4 million ordinary shares at roughly $1.17 per share; this equals about $5.85 per ADS, which is a price per share of NIS 4.2. These ordinary shares will be, under Israeli securities laws, restricted for six months, and compared to the market price, the funding was priced at a minimum discount.
This private funding does not include issuance of warrants. The securities may not be sold in the US absent registration, or an acceptable exemption from the registration requirements, as they have not been registered under the amended Securities Act of 1933.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Names New Director
The UT-Battelle board of directors, which operates Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the US Department of Energy, has chosen scientist and longtime ORNL employee Thomas Zacharia as the new director of ORNL. Zacharia was instrumental in building ORNL into a global supercomputing power, and first came to the facility in 1987 as a postdoctoral researcher. After being named associate laboratory director for ORNL’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate in 2001, Zacharia spent nearly a decade building a scientific enterprise, bringing over 500 new employees, and opening the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility; he also served as ORNL’s deputy for science and technology.
Jeff Wadsworth, the president and CEO of Battelle, and director of ORNL from 2003 to 2007, said, “Thomas represents the very best of Oak Ridge National Laboratory: scientific excellence, a willingness to tackle tremendous challenges for the benefit of the nation, and the vision to find innovative solutions and make them reality. His whole career shows that he knows how to apply ORNL’s unique breadth of expertise to our most important priorities in science, energy, national security, and economic competitiveness.”
Zacharia outlined several goals for ORNL under his direction, including building on its original sense of mission to reshape its creative energy for the future and leading it to be the world’s premier research institution. His appointment is effective July 1.
TechShop Pittsburgh Closing Its Doors
Open-access and DIY workshop and fabrication studio TechShop has locations in nearly ten states, including Pennsylvania. Dan Woods, who took over as CEO last year, has announced that the company is changing its business model up, and taking multiple steps to position TechShop for growth and expansion. In addition to some other changes, Woods introduced a new partner licensing model, which will allow TechShop to collaboratively develop new locations in communities across the country with strategic partners, like universities and corporations, and build a nationwide network of stores. But while these changes sound exciting for TechShop as a whole, they don’t come without downsides. Woods also pledged to stabilize the business by reducing cash deficit and improving the performances of its individual stores.
In an email to TechShop members, Woods wrote, “In the course of developing the new strategy for the business we’ve taken a long, hard look at the existing stores to see how they will fit into our new model. In evaluating store performance we came to the regrettable conclusion that TechShop Pittsburgh is not a fit.”
Woods further explained that the 16,000-square-foot TechShop Pittsburgh, equipped with quality design software and leading tools and equipment, doesn’t meet its operating expenses. TechShop has arranged with the Pittsburgh makerspace’s landlord to keep the shop going this summer, so it won’t impact its youth STEAM summer program and allow its members time to work out new arrangements, but unless a Pittsburgh university, foundation, or corporation is interested in licensing TechShop Pittsburgh, the doors will close on September 1, 2017.