3D Printing News Briefs: June 27, 2017

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In 3D Printing News Briefs today, we’ve got stories on 3D software, a new 3D printer, and a little business, while the technology also takes us to the sea, the roads, and outer space. The Altair Partner Alliance has added Additive Works’ Amphyon software to its platform and 3D Systems has released Geomagic Freeform 2017 and Wrap 2017. Leapfrog has launched its industrial Bolt Pro 3D printer, while Print The Future adds a new member to its advisory board. The US Navy will be utilizing blockchain technology in its additive manufacturing work, Jay Leno takes Divergent 3D’s Blade car for a spin, and the autonomous Olli shuttle celebrates its first birthday. Finally, Nano Dimension receives a grant to develop 3D printed electronic modules for space applications.

Altair Partner Alliance Adds Additive Works’ Amphyon Software

The Altair Partner Alliance (APA) has added Additive Works‘ simulation-driven Amphyon to its current software offering, making it available to all HyperWorks customers. APA’s HyperWorks platform applies a unique subscription-based licensing model, where customers can access a suite of Altair-developed and third-party software applications on demand, using a floating license. The platform is basically extended from over 20 internally developed solutions to more than 60 applications, with the addition of new partner applications like Additive Works and its Amphyon process software, which is used for powder bed-based, laser beam melting additive manufacturing processes. Amphyon can automatically calculate a part’s optimal orientation in order for it to be 3D printed, and allows for a build-up process simulation in order to calculate part deformation and stresses before generating a pre-deformed STL file. This saves energy, money, and time, while allowing for more process stability and higher part quality.

Subir Roy, the Senior Director of Industry Solutions at Altair, said, “Amphyon’s innovative approach to 3D printing simulation provides an efficient and practical solution to benefit a wide range of industrial users involved with designing and printing complex metallic parts. The GPU based software with its intuitive GUI enables the user to do trade-off studies for part orientation as a function of accessibility, support volume, build time etc. Distortion calculations from simulation can be used to compensate the part geometry to minimize deviation from the design target.”

An introductory Additive Works webinar will be held at 10 am ET on July 11th.

3D Systems Releases Latest Geomagic Software

Today, 3D Systems is announcing the release of its latest software versions, Geomagic Wrap 2017 and Geomagic Freeform 2017. Geomagic Wrap is industry-leading reverse engineering software. It turns 3D scan data and imported files into 3D models for immediate use, and offers high quality mesh model creation. This latest version offers enhanced Python scripting for better automation and extensibility, and an improved workflow productivity.

Scott Green, the Director of Product Management, Software, for 3D Systems, said, “Geomagic Wrap 2017 delivers high value improvements to the workflows our Wrap customers know and love. We want our users to continue to find new areas and use cases to apply Wrap to, and enjoy a solution that grows alongside the 3D scanning hardware environment.”

The latest version of Geomagic Freeform, a comprehensive 3D hybrid precision engineering software, offers performance enhancements designed to increase workflow efficiency and make for a better user experience. Freeform offers a single platform to help customers solve difficult design and manufacturing challenges, and the 2017 version gives users new tools and enhancements that provide process optimizations to production workflows.

“Our customers are very important to us and customer needs help drive product and service developments. Over 80 percent of the new features and functions in Geomagic Freeform 2017 were driven by customer requests and workflow challenges,” said Diane Edinger, the Freeform Product Manager for 3D Systems. “We aimed to offer a balanced mix of performance optimizations, architectural improvements, workflow enhancements, and new palette features and functions.”

Leapfrog Introduces Industrial Bolt Pro 3D Printer

Less than a year after Leapfrog introduced its desktop Bolt 3D printer, the FDM 3D printer manufacturer has improved its design and is now unveiling the industrial Bolt Pro 3D printer. The Bolt Pro is designed for office use, and is at the cutting edge of high-end additive manufacturing with its quality performance and long-term reliability. Leapfrog says that the 70 kg Bolt Pro 3D printer stands out from other FDM 3D printers due to its industrial-grade build, quality, and size, as well its seamless integration into an office workflow due to its activated carbon filter and WiFi connectivity, and its ability to print with multiple materials, thanks to its dual independent extruders and high temperature hot end.

In comparison to the original Leapfrog Bolt 3D printer, the Bolt Pro can swap filaments mid-print, and comes with an interactive user interface start-up guide and improved cooling and fan-duct. It features improved cabling, based on IGUS industrial grade components, and has an RGB LED status indication and magnetic door and filament compartment closing.

Print the Future Welcomes New Advisory Board Member

Omni-channel 3D printed furniture company Print the Future announced that Mike Moceri, who was named the “Face of 3D Printing” in 2015, is the newest member of its advisory board. In 2013, Moceri co-founded 3DPX in Chicago, the world’s first 3D printing retail and service bureau hybrid, two years after interning with MakerBot; in 2014, he also founded Manulith and MakerOS. He found Print The Future by chance at a New York 3D printing conference, and believes that it is vitally important to provide people with a physical space for 3D printing – just like Print the Future wants to do with its planned worldwide stores.

When Mike walked into our pop-up shop in Manhattan, the synergies were evident immediately, Mike is a pioneer in the 3D printing space and we are pioneering in our own right, disrupting a $12 trillion manufacturing industry through 3D printing,” said Neil Patel, CEO and Founder of Print the Future. “Historically, 3D printing has largely been applied to industrial or novelty purposes, but we’re on a mission to show the world just how limitless this technology can be.”

As a member of the advisory board, Moceri will offer Print the Future valuable insight into the 3D printing industry, and technical advice about the integration of the online platform with the rest of the company’s business model.

US Navy Utilizing Blockchain Technology

The Department of the Navy (DON) is looking to test out blockchain technology, which is the underlying technology of Bitcoin, and has determined that Naval Additive Manufacturing is a perfect testing ground. The technology is essentially a chain of blocks, or records, containing transactional data.

According to LDCR Jon McCarter, USN, a member of the FY17 SECNAV Naval Innovation Advisory Council (NIAC), “The records are permanent and are unable to be modified. This bond creates trust between all the members of the chain and removes the need for third party mediators to handle transactions, or any other transfer of information. This ‘immutable trust’ allows for the removal of members not providing value (formerly used as middle-men or brokers) and allows two or more parties to conduct transactions with complete trust.”

LDCR McCarter believes that blockchain technology will revolutionize business, finance, and logistics, as well as Naval Additive Manufacturing. It’s vital to able to secure and safely share data throughout the manufacturing process, especially with more and more important military 3D printing. While material readiness has the potential to increase thanks to 3D printing, the technology is also potentially vulnerable, which is why a cryptographically secure and controllable data flow like blockchain is so important. The NIAC will be conducting a series of experiments with blockchain technology this summer, and will issue a report in September showing the practical application of the technology in a controlled environment.

3D Printed Blade Supercar on Jay Leno’s Garage

Back in 2015, Divergent 3D, which at the time was still called Divergent Microfactories, introduced its 3D printed supercar, called the Blade. The Blade is a two-seat tandem vehicle, which means that the driver sits in the center while the passenger is directly behind them. We had a chance to see a magenta version of the Blade at CES 2017 in January, and Divergent 3D Founder and CEO Kevin Czinger recently had the opportunity to showcase the 720 horsepower, lightweight supercar on an episode of the popular Jay Leno’s Garage show on NBC. Leno has experience with 3D printed vehicles, taking the 3D printed Strati by Local Motors out for a test drive in 2015 and learning about Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology on the show.

Czinger explained to Leno that the Blade is not actually entirely 3D printed, but that the frame is essentially made out of optimized, customized, 3D printed metal Lego blocks that fit together.

Czinger said, “Typically when you’re looking at cars today, they’re built out of one material, and they’re kind of like the, to use an analogy, the exoskeleton of a bug, right? The shell, welded together, is the structure. Here, it’s like the bone structure of a mammal. You’re choosing materials, optimizing those materials, and then bringing them all together, with a nonstructural shell, like the body on this car.”

To learn more, you can check out the full episode below.

3D Printed Autonomous Olli Vehicle Turns One

Local Motors just just celebrated an important milestone – the first anniversary of the product debut for its autonomous, 3D printed Olli vehicle. The original idea for Olli came from the company’s 2015 Urban Mobility Challenge, when Local Motors asked its co-creation community to take on the future mobility issues that cities all around the world were facing, like traffic congestion.

“If your mind is always thinking in futuristic terms, you know that a typical small bus is not an adequate answer to these challenges,” said Local Motors employee Britni in a recent blog post. “But the winning entry submitted by community member, Edgar Sarmiento was much more than that. It was autonomous, environmentally friendly, smart, and targeted at cities or large companies rather than individuals. It was meant to be a system; not an individual vehicle. We knew we had a real opportunity in Olli.”

Olli went from idea to proof-of-concept in less than four months, debuting at the grand opening of Local Motors’ new Sales and Demonstration facility in June of 2016. Since then, Olli has taken 845 trips, safely transported nearly 1,500 passengers, invited 504 passengers to be part of a user research group, and was used in a self-driving pilot program in Berlin. Immediate plans for Olli include continuing the company’s #AccessibleOlli challenge and launching the first US pilots next year; the plan is to launch the fully 3D printed Olli in the summer of 2018.

Nano Dimension Receives Grant for 3D Printing Space Modules

Well-known for its DragonFly 2020 PCB 3D printer, Israel-based Nano Dimension has been branching out recently into bioprinting and 3D printing ceramic for space applications. Together with technology innovator Harris Corporation, Nano Dimension recently received a grant approval from the Israel Innovation Authority to finance a project to develop 3D printed electronic modules for applications in space. The Israel Innovation Authority will finance 50% of the approved budget, which is approximately $87,000 (NIS 309,000), and Nano Dimension will pay royalties on future sales up to the full amount of the grant. Harris and Nano Dimension entered into a non-binding letter of intent, with respect to the collaboration.

This project aims to make space systems more uniform and reliable, and will demonstrate, for the first time, the manufacturing of 3D printed multilayer, double-sided circuits that will distribute digital, power, and RF signal at the same substrate. This will lower the cost, power, size, and weight of space systems, and eliminate manual assembly.

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