We’ve got a lot of 3D printing business news to cover in the first August edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, and then we’ll move on to 3D printing materials and some gaming news. Sigma Labs makes an executive-level switch, while both Nano Dimension and HP have named new distribution partners. Haige Technology is building a 3D printing center in China, Star Rapid is launching a 3D metal printing training initiative, and Voodoo Manufacturing has announced a big summer sale. Formfutura is introducing some new 3D printing materials, and the latest Minecraft update supports 3D printing technology.
CEO of Sigma Labs Becomes CTO
Sigma Labs, which provides additive manufacturing quality assurance software solutions under the PrintRite3D brand, has made some changes in its senior management team. In an effort to accelerate the company’s technology advancements, President and CEO Mark Cola has been appointed to the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and together with the rest of the executive team, will work on growing Sigma Labs through customer development and next-generation products for multiple industries. John Rice, the company’s Chairman of the Board since April, will replace Cola as Interim CEO.
Cola said, “Our goal is not only to continue building on our leading market position in the additive manufacturing space but also to expand our solutions into the broader domain space of existing manufacturing environments. Additive manufacturing continues to provide great potential for PrintRite3D, however, our in-process data analytics engine can be deployed during process manufacturing and in many other existing manufacturing environments such as laser welding, laser marking and laser cutting among others. We expect that the next few years will see increased integration of additive manufacturing with in-process controls like PrintRite3D, automation, robotics and, in collaboration with humans, workstations known as cobotic systems that will continue to change the landscape of existing manufacturing environments.”
Nano Dimension Names Canadian Reseller
Israel-based Nano Dimension has announced that it will collaborate with design automation and 3D printing products and services provider CAD MicroSolutions, Inc. to begin selling the DragonFly 2020 PCB 3D printer in Canada. The electronics industry in Canada is large and rapidly growing, so Nano Dimension believes that the Canadian market is “very promising” for development tools like its DragonFly 2020, and as CAD MicroSolutions has over 3,000 customers and offices in Cambridge, Montreal, and Toronto, it is well-positioned to be a distributor for the printer. The two companies will begin working together to develop the necessary commercial and service infrastructure for the 3D printer’s sales distribution in Canada.
“CAD MicroSolutions sees great potential for this technology in the Canadian market. Faster circuit development cycles driven by the convergence of 3D printing and design automation is a significant capability for the design community,” said CAD MicroSolutions President Darren Gornall.
HP Announces RP Support Limited as UK Channel Partner
RP Support Limited (RPS) has been named a channel partner in the UK for the HP Jet Fusion range of 3D printers and accessories. RPS has grown over the last decade from a supply partner to designing, building, and selling its own production stereolithography system, the NEO 800. The company, which is also a distributor for Markforged, will sell and service the HP Jet Fusion range, comprised of the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200/3200 Printer and Processing Station with Fast Cooling, to all industry sectors in the region.
“We are extremely pleased to introduce RPS as one of our new channel partners,” said Andrew Knowles, the Business Manager for HP 3D Multi Jet Fusion for the UK and Ireland. “They have an excellent reputation in the 3D printing industry, as well as a strong knowledge of how our HP 3D printing technology will bring best in class performance to both individual customers and within new markets.”
RPS will exhibit the HP Jet Fusion 3D printing solution next month at the TCT Show in Birmingham, stand #F22.
Haige Technology Building 3D Printing Center in China
Issued in 2015, the Made in China 2025 master plan focuses on ten sectors, including developing 3D printing to boost the country’s manufacturing growth, and the main goal is to comprehensively upgrade Chinese industry so it can occupy the highest parts of global production chains. Keeping in line with the plan, Haige Technology will invest ¥1 billion (around US$150 million) to build an international 3D research and development base in China. This will focus on enhancing the company’s own R&D capabilities, while also promoting the development of the country’s 3D printing industry.
The project will include an international 3D printing training and education base, an international 3D printing R&D center, and an international 3D printing production service center, which will include product development, CNC production, and 3D printing talent cultivation. This center will bridge cooperation between domestic and foreign scientific research, and also provide a solid foundation for rapid development of 3D printing in the country.
Star Rapid Launches Metal 3D Printing Training Initiative
Global rapid prototyping, tooling, and low-volume manufacturer Star Rapid has launched a metal 3D printing training initiative, which will provide free tools and resources to teach the engineering and design community about proper design for 3D metal printing. The training initiative aims to improve design-for-manufacturing knowledge by developing a 3D metal printing online video resource library and holding three workshops at its Zhongshan, China headquarters.
“The quick emergence and complexity of 3D metal printing has created a massive design-process deficit within the industry. As a manufacturer, we are well positioned to share best practices and lessons learned on this subject as we’ve seen first-hand how hard it can be to develop the correct design parameters for a build,” said Gordon Styles, Founder and President of Star Rapid. “Greater widespread design knowledge will help unlock the full and boundless potential of 3D metal printing for more widespread application.”
The first three video tutorials are available on the company’s website, and Star Rapid’s Direct Metal Laser Melting Manager Chloe Kow will host the training workshops, which will be held on the following dates:
- August 14-16, 2017
- November 6-8, 2017
- March 14-16, 2018
If interested in attending one of the workshops, fill out Star Rapid’s expression of interest form.
Voodoo Manufacturing Holding Major Summer Sale
Just a few months ago, Brooklyn-based high-volume 3D printing factory Voodoo Manufacturing automated a portion of its factory with the robotic Project Skywalker, and more recently reached a milestone in its cost-reduction plan. To celebrate both of these achievements, Voodoo Manufacturing has announced a summer sale for the rest of this month by reducing the pricing for its Direct Print Service by 50%. The service lets customers upload 3D printable files, receive a quote instantly, and check out. To place an order and receive the 50% discount, customers need to use the Direct Print flow to upload their files and select 3-day production. When comparing the company’s new discounted prices to other leading vendors, Voodoo Manufacturing customers will save, on average, over 50% on print jobs.
CEO and Co-Founder of Voodoo Manufacturing Max Friefeld said, “Overseas manufacturers have had a significant cost advantage when it comes to the mass production of products and parts. Robotics and software automation are changing everything, and our people are becoming efficient enough to compete with overseas workers. We are testing the waters with a massively discounted pricing model that has never been seen in our industry. Eventually we’ll want to lock-in these prices forever, but we have to stress-test our production system first.”
Formfutura Introduces Industrial-Grade 3D Printing Materials
Over the last few months, Formfutura has been busy, releasing both its StoneFil PLA material series and ReForm, made from upcycled or recycled material. Now, the company has announced the launch of its new engineering, industrial-grade 3D printer filaments, gray STYX-12 and Volcano PLA, which comes in both white and black. High-performance STYX-12, with a much low water absorption compared to other nylon printing materials, can be printed at lower temperatures, and combines printability with high chemical, mechanical, and hygroscopic properties. It is compliant with FDA food and drink contact articles, and is highly scratch and crack resistant.
Volcano PLA, which has a matte surface finish and high interlayer adhesion, was developed to have superb dimensional accuracy before and after annealing, and is perfect for professional applications that need improved heat resistance, high print speeds, and mechanical properties not dissimilar to ABS material. Immediately upon extrusion, Volcano PLA is highly crystalline, which offers increased levels of temperature resistance and stiffness.
Latest Minecraft Update Supports 3D Printing
The massively popular Minecraft game just rolled out its latest update, called Better Together, which comes with a lot of new features. Now, players on Android and Windows 10 can play on the same server, with Xbox One coming soon, and players can now enjoy split-screen play on consoles. The Better Together update, which is available for beta users, doesn’t have all of the final build’s features, but it does introduce armor stands, stained glass, and ravines to the game, and the new ability to 3D print your Minecraft creations.
Today, the Remix 3D feature was integrated with Minecraft, which allows players to share their game models for 3D printing. Soon, players will also be able to export to Microsoft’s Paint 3D program, which should be able to support a similar functionality. To get the Better Together beta update, players can visit the Xbox Insider Hub app on Windows 10 or console, or join on Android.
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