3D Printing News Briefs: August 18, 2017

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For this week’s second edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re covering what the technology is capable of in terms of education and business, innovative new products, and weaponry. Added Scientific has introduced 3D printing training sessions, Formlabs announced its new Education Grant, and LPW teamed up with the Royal Academy of Engineering to establish a Research Chair for additive manufacturing at Lancaster University. A German 3D printer manufacturer is establishing an open 3D printing platform, while Hawk 3D Proto introduces a filament line powered by Polyalchemy. Finally, engineers in Oregon have launched a new workshop tool with 3D printed components, 3D Systems has partnered with CSM Bakery Solutions to develop 3D printers, products, and materials for the food industry, and there’s continued speculation about the possibility of North Korea’s nuclear missile program getting 3D printers.

Added Scientific Introduces Additive Manufacturing Training Courses

Technical services and consultancy company Added Scientific, a spin-out from the Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the University of Nottingham, will be providing a program of six additive manufacturing training courses this fall. The program will cover important aspects of the technology, as a response to the growing demand for impartial, high-quality AM training. Together with other Added Scientific directors, Phill Dickens, the co-founder of Added Scientific and its Director of Training, has devised an intensive training curriculum, which will be organized and delivered by AM experts.

Six courses make up the first offering:

  • Introduction to Additive Manufacturing
  • Polymer Additive Manufacturing
  • Metal Additive Manufacturing
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing
  • Economics of Additive Manufacturing
  • Future Developments in Additive Manufacturing

Booking is currently available for the first session, which begins on September 6th.

Formlabs Announces New Education Grant

3D printing is used often for research purposes, and many Formlabs education customers are using the company’s Form 2 3D printer to push the boundaries of research. That’s why the company is introducing its new Formlabs Education Grant, which is open to all accredited educational institutions in any department. By sharing a project that would benefit from a 3D printer, educational labs now have the chance to get a complete Form 2 package for their research facility.

Formlabs is now accepting rolling applications, and will award the grant to one lab or educational facility per quarter; the grant is open worldwide to anywhere Formlabs ships. To apply, just submit the application form (in English) and attach a detailed project outline or proposal in PDF form and an .STL or .OBJ file that’s relevant to the project.

LPW/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair Created for Metal Additive Manufacturing

Metal additive manufacturing is ready to disrupt current metal fabrication techniques, so it’s of vital importance to collect data and simulate new microstructures and compositions in order to change the approach of generating high-performance metal alloys for critical industries. To this end, the LPW/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair at Lancaster University for ‘Alloy and microstructure design for additive layer manufacturing’ has been created, in order to capitalize on potential data mining and alloy design for metal AM technology. Professor Pedro Rivera from Cambridge University has been appointed to this position.

“AM offers incredible design freedom to manufacture parts unable to be created by such established methods as forging and casting,” said Professor Rivera. “Conventional alloys used for AM can be extremely sensitive to parameters such as oxygen content where the variation is intrinsic to the AM process. This research will create truly novel metal powders by controlling the microstructures and compositions so critical for high performing AM-specific alloys.”

LPW Technology will also make its AM PowderLab available to a team of researchers at Lancaster University and LPW who are working to develop new alloys for additive manufacturing.

facts42morrow Establishes Open 3D Printing Platform

3D printer manufacturer facts42morrow, located in Dresden, Germany, believes that 3D printing can establish smarter, fairer and more creative production processes worldwide, and plans to establish an open 3D printing platform. At an event this spring, the company presented its large, modular 3D printer prototypes, which were designed for professional use.

“In a second step, the modular approach is to be made freely available on an online platform in order to serve as a basis for an open application and an open development,” the company explains. “This includes, among other things, the publication of construction plans and parts lists and assembly instructions, as well as potential procurement sources. This allows an autonomous assembly or upgrade or evolution of a customized and professional printing system, according to the needs of the relevant users.”

facts42morrow will also be starting the STURDY 1 crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, to gain support for its project worldwide.

Hawk 3D Proto Introduces Filament Line, Powered by Polyalchemy

Hawk 3D Proto is introducing its own filament line: Elixir PLA, powered by Polyalchemy. Elixir is a blend of premium PLA and other polymers, and has twice the impact resistance of normal PLA. Hawk 3D Proto only uses Polyalchemy’s best dye and pigments for Elixir PLA, to make sure that they align with international color standards.

According to Hawk 3D Proto, Polyalchemy uses “the latest laser guided optical micrometres that measures the filament multiple times a second. This gives jam free consistent printing performance spool after spool. They engineer the filament to print in all open source 3D printers.”

Elixir PLA comes in five colors, and as part of its collaboration with Polyalchemy, Hawk 3D Proto has successfully tested the new filaments on its range of 3D printers. Each spool, which comes in both 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameter, is £28, excluding VAT.

Solar Extraction Technologies Introduces Partially 3D Printed Maker’s Vise 

Two engineers from Oregon startup Solar Extraction Technologies have designed a new product they’re calling the Maker’s Vise, a revolutionary workbench tool with 3D printed jaws.

“We’ve found these jaws reduce the amount of torque needed to sufficiently hold an object,” product design engineer Greg Stephens told 3DPrint.com. “This greatly reduces the odds of damaging your work while also making the job smoother, faster, and easier for the user.”

The two wanted to design one single vise that could replace their growing vise collection and do everything, which is how the fast, maneuverable Maker’s Vise was born. They are building a digital design library of custom, 3D printable jaws, jigs, and other fixtures, and will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for the Maker’s Vise next month.

3D Systems Partners with CSM Bakery Solutions for Food Industry 3D Printing

Cake decoration printed from sugar by 3D Systems.

3D Systems has entered into an agreement with CSM Bakery Solutions, a worldwide leader in bakery ingredients, products, and services, to collaborate on developing, selling, and distributing 3D printers, materials, and products for the food industry. The formal agreement enables the two companies to work together on R&D, design, engineering, and development that focuses on food product development, specific sourcing, and go-to-market plans. CSM will have exclusive rights to use 3D Systems’ ChefJet Pro 3D printer to make high-resolution food products.

“We are very excited about what this opportunity can mean for the food industry,” Marianne Kirkegaard, the President and CEO of CSM, said.

“Our agreement with 3D Systems has the potential to re-shape the food industry. Across a number of industries, 3D printing has helped transform industries and there’s every reason to think the same can be true for the food industry. We are excited to partner and continue to expand capabilities and culinary opportunities with their platform.”

CSM and 3D Systems have already begun working to bring prototypes to the market.

Speculation: Can North Korea’s Nuclear Missile Program Get 3D Printers?

A stamp issued in commemoration of the successful test launch of the “Hwasong-14” ICBM [Image: Korean Central News Agency via Reuters]

North Korea recently had a round of successful missile launches, which has the world on its toes and the 3D printing community wondering about the possibility of Pyongyang gaining access to 3D printing technology, then reverse-engineering, 3D printing, and mass producing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Analysts say that while there is no hard evidence, there are signs that the country is trying to acquire 3D printers for this exact reason, and that it may already have them.

I would be surprised if there were not already efforts to procure high-end 3D printers,” Robert Shaw, a US arms-control expert, told the Asia Times. “Ideally, they would want to procure such machines in quantity.”

While Shaw believes that strengthening export controls and requiring manufacturers to carefully monitor foreign 3D printer sales could help keep the technology from falling into the wrong hands, there are ways around these rules, like shipping 3D printers to nations not on banned lists, then re-integrating them into other products to be shipped to North Korea. But Angelo Codevilla, a former senior official from the US Senate Intelligence Committee, believes that the only way to keep advanced technology out of countries that would use it for WMD is “to develop such countermeasures as anti-missile screens.” Meanwhile, North Korea already uses CNC machine tools to make parts for its missile program, and has also allegedly developed a 3D printer, which was showcased last spring at the 19th International Trade Fair in Pyongyang.

Discuss these stories in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.


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