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3D Printing News Briefs: July 14, 2017

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It’s Friday, so we’ll start off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with something interesting to roll us into the weekend, then move right on to 3D printing business news and some new product announcements. Linglong Tire has developed the first 3D printed polyurethane tires in China, and Carl Bass, formerly the CEO of Autodesk, joins the Formlabs Board of Directors. Beamler achieves its crowdfunding goal in one week, while the Vectary app has integrated with MyMiniFactory. The Robo R2 3D printer is now fully available for purchase, and Omegasonics introduces its Matrix 9000 Mark II generator.

First 3D Printed TPU Tires in China

The Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Linglong Tire, based in Shandong, partnered up to successfully develop 3D printed polyurethane tires. Linglong says that the recently produced tires are “a first in China.”

The tires were 3D printed with FDM technology, which Linglong said makes the manufacturing process faster and more efficient, as it eliminates the need for a tire mold. 3D printing made it possible to form the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material into a tire shape, with a hexagonal structure similar to a honeycomb. According to the tire making company, using TPU rather than rubber tread offers a lower rolling resistance, because it results in less heat build-up. Used tires made out of this material are easily recycled. Linglong is anticipating lower costs for the 3D printed TPU tires when compared to traditional rubber ones, and believes that TPU will be the “main material” used for next-generation green tires.

Newest Member of Formlabs’ Board of Directors is Carl Bass 

Carl Bass [Image: Autodesk]

This winter, technology veteran Carl Bass announced his resignation as CEO of Autodesk, after a tenure of 24 years spent at the company in various positions; last month, the company named its CMO Andrew Anagnost as his successor. At the time, Bass did not say exactly what his next move would be, but this week we finally learned his plans – Bass has been appointed to the Formlabs board of directors.

Bass said, “In just a few years, Formlabs has become the leader in professional 3D printing. Formlabs is poised to continue upending the industry, and I’m excited to join its journey in improving digital design and manufacturing for product designers everywhere.”

Bass remains on the board of directors at Autodesk, and also serves on the boards at both Zendesk and HP.

“We’re honored to have Carl join the board. Under his leadership, Carl transformed Autodesk from a 2D design company into a global leader of 3D design and engineering software,” said Max Lobovsky, the CEO of Formlabs. “I’m also personally thrilled to have another board member who is a passionate creator and uses CAD, 3D printers, and other tools himself. His experience and expertise will be invaluable for Formlabs as we continue charting new territories in professional 3D printing.”

Beamler Hits Crowdfunding Goal in One Week

Software startup Beamler, based out of Amsterdam, reached its €150,000 crowdfunding goal in one week, and decided to raise the goal to €200,000. The startup’s plug and play cloud-based software solution is disrupting the manufacturing industry by empowering its customers to use and enjoy all the benefits of large-scale 3D printing, allowing them to easily transition to the production technique faster and for less money. Beamler’s unique software helps overcome some of the challenges of prototyping by offering large manufacturers a connected network of professional 3D printers to use, and enabling engineers to easily convert and optimize their designs.

The startup will use the additional funds to hire another developer, and its first sales engineer, in order to stimulate faster growth. In addition, Beamler was listed as #15 on the Top 40 Crowdfunding Campaigns list, and was chosen by ASML to speak at the recent IMPACT Summit in Eindhoven.

Vectary Announces App Integration with MyMiniFactory

Free online 3D design tool VECTARY has launched an app integration with 3D printing platform MyMiniFactory, in order to make creating and sharing 3D printable designs even easier for its users. Two plugins – one for import and one for export – have been developed within VECTARY’s 3D editor, which will allow users to save time by exporting and sharing their work to MyMiniFactory with one click. In addition, users can import the platform’s free, guaranteed 3D printable models to VECTARY for editing and customizing. VECTARY’s partnership with large 3D communities, such as MyMiniFactory, fits in with the company’s long-term plan of democratizing 3D modeling.

“This new plugin will make it a lot easier and will encourage our users to start creating more 3D models and to share them with MyMiniFactory’s large community,” said Michal Koor, the co-founder and CEO of VECTARY. “I think we’re already seeing glimpses of how the future will look like in five-ten years from now, when creating 3D designs will be a common thing for almost anyone.”

VECTARY will continue to add and connect different plugins and integrations, so 3D printer owners can easily edit and customize shapes they find online.

Robo R2 3D Printer is Now Fully Available for Purchase

San Diego-based Robo has announced the full availability of its high-performance Robo R2 3D printer; earlier this year, the printer, which is the company’s most advanced machine yet, had an initial production run that was dedicated to its Kickstarter backers. The 8″ x 8″ x 10″, industrial 3D printer is geared toward consumer accessibility, featuring WiFi connectivity, fast printing speed, a heated bed and automatic self-leveling, a built-in 5″ color touchscreen and on-board camera, and the ability to print with over 30 different types of materials. The Robo R2 also took home the 2017 CES Best of Innovation Award for 3D Printing this year.

Ryan Legudi, the Managing Director at Robo, said, “To say we’ve worked hard to ensure Robo R2 meets and exceeds expectations with its full market availability is an understatement — it’s been an all hands on deck, around-the-clock effort since we decided to move forward with the very idea of a flagship 3D printer. We’re immensely proud of this finished product, whose feature set and functionality are aimed to redefine the entire industry. We’re fully confident that makers and professional users from various backgrounds and skillsets have the machine necessary to enjoy a world-class and truly innovative 3D printing experience.”

The Robo R2 is available through several large retailers, like Amazon, and on the company’s website, for $1,499 MSRP. All orders are shipping within 24 hours.

Omegasonics Releases Matrix 9000 Mark II Generator

A few months ago, ultrasonic cleaning systems manufacturer Omegasonics, which uses its unique technology to make 3D printing post-processing faster and easier, introduced a new ultrasonic cleaning machine that was helpful for cleaning 3D printed prototype parts. Now, the company is back with a new product – the Matrix 9000 Mark II ultrasonic generator. This is the third generation of the company’s Matrix series, and eliminates 20% of the power board components, which makes it possible to have only a single power board. It has improved safety features, more stability, and generates less heat than the original Matrix 9000, even though the two are the same size, because the Matrix 9000 Mark II runs at a cooler operating temperature.

It has an enhanced heat sync that helps reduce the temperature, which will extend the life of your electronics, and an optional digital display that shows the generator’s output power.

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