3D Printing News Briefs: August 25, 2017

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Happy Friday – let’s get the weekend started with some 3D Printing News Briefs. MyMiniFactory launches its new Click & Print feature, while a popular 3D printing service bureau purchases an EnvisionTEC Vector 3SP and EnvisionTEC itself announces a new distribution partner in the UK. A Swedish 3D printing materials developer has introduced a new stainless steel alloy, and 3D Material Technologies will be adding more dates for its Metal 3D Printing School. Finally, a clinical trial shows that people prefer 3D printed dentures to ones that are traditionally manufactured.

MyMiniFactory Introduces New Click & Print Feature

The MyMiniFactory 3D printable object-sharing platform has launched the first version of its automatic slicing feature, called Click & Print, which is made possible as a result of the platform’s curation process – every object on MyMiniFactory is guaranteed to print, so an in-built slicing solution will never have to deal with broken files. The feature, which is currently available only for the STARTT 3D printer, gets rid of a lot of the learning curve for new owners of 3D printers by removing the need to slice objects together. Users can just click ‘print preview for STARTT’ on supported objects, and see a quick render of what the object will look like with supports. They can then download gCode directly; the file can then be sent right to the printer.

Currently, 8,000 objects from the Scan the World collection support the Click & Print feature, with more objects and printers to come; if you’re a 3D printer manufacturer and would like Click & Print support, contact MyMiniFactory.

Realize Inc. Purchases EnvisionTEC Vector 3SP

Realize Inc., one of the largest and most experienced service bureaus for low-volume production and rapid prototyping in the US, has adopted EnvisionTEC’s proprietary 3SP technology for 3D printing, in order to use the industrial Vector 3SP printer to test new castable engineering materials that are under development with Somos. EnvisionTEC launched its patented 3SP (Scan, Spin and Selectively Photocure) technology, which uses a laser to cure photopolymers much more quickly and easily than other SLA systems, in 2013.

Todd Reese, the President of Realize Inc., said, “Somos has been our vendor since day one. We have built a great partnership with their team, so we jumped at the chance to beta test their collaborative efforts with EnvisionTEC. We’ve built many different parts on the Vector, from large, chunky parts to small, delicate, detailed parts. We have been able to pull off a couple of geometries that we struggled with on the SLA technology. There were cases of noticeably better detail, crispness and dimensional accuracy by comparison.”

EnvisionTEC Announces New Distribution Partner in the UK

GoPrint3D Sales Director James Blackburn with an EnvisonTEC Vector 3SP. [Image: Business Wire]

Speaking of EnvisionTEC, the professional-grade 3D printing solutions provider announced that it has added a new distributor, GoPrint3D, to help expand its reach in the UK market. GoPrint3D sells a variety of 3D printing products and supplies and has partnerships with several major brands, like Unilever and Nestlé. The company will now also sell and service EnvisionTEC’s entire range of desktop and large-frame 3D printers and materials in the UK industrial market, providing product installation, commissioning, and after-sales services.

“Our partnership with EnvisionTEC complements our existing product range and allows us to provide the high end, high precision printers and industry focussed materials that clients are demanding. We look forward to working together with the EnvisonTEC team to provide the best machines and services into the industrial market,” said James Blackburn, the Sales Director at GoPrint3D.

VBN Components Introduces New Stainless Steel Alloy

3D printing materials developer VBN Components, headquartered in Sweden, has developed a new, extremely wear resistant alloy with 60 HRC, called Vibenite 350. The company’s comprehensive development work was supported by the Swedish Energy Agency, and VBN Components calls Vibenite 350 the world’s hardest stainless 3D printing metal, which combines “unprecedented levels of hardness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance and toughness.”

VBN Components already has hard, wear resistant Vibenite 150 and Vibenite 280 in its portfolio, so the next step was Vibenite 350. Hard-condition stainless steels are usually very difficult to machine, but Vibenite 350 lets users print near-net-shape blanks for demanding products. It combines corrosion tolerance, wear resistance, and high hardness, and its micro structure is completely cobalt-free, containing 20% chromium and a high level of carbides. The high wear resistance is due to the 3D printing melting process, and it also has a very high material yield, quality performance, and longer product lifetime.

3D Material Technologies Announces More Metal 3D Printing School Dates

Florida-based ARC Group Worldwide, Inc. enjoyed a successful launch of its first Metal 3D Printing School at its Additive Manufacturing division, 3D Material Technologies (3DMT), and has announced further dates for the school. The company states that attendees from several leading power generation, aerospace and defense, and electronics manufacturers received a detailed overview of additive manufacturing technologies over two days of in-depth instruction. The school combines technical education and analysis with real world applications, and gives attendees examples of how its holistic additive manufacturing expertise can help them achieve significant economic and engineering benefits.

Ashley Nichols, 3DMT General Manager, said, “Customers continually see all the exciting things about 3D printing; they read all the press releases, but they are not certain how to make AM a reality within their own organisations. Our vision of the 3D school is to teach technicians, engineers and purchasing agents how to practically use Additive Manufacturing to really take advantage of the technology and make their projects a success.”

3DMT’s next Metal 3D Printing School will be held from September 20th-22nd, 2017.

People Prefer 3D Printed Dentures, According to New Clinical Trial

Dentures from Formlabs

If you lose your teeth, whether heredity or poor dental hygiene is the culprit, typically the result is dentures. In a recent clinical trial, selected participants were asked to compare standard metal dentures with 3D printed dentures…and while the results may be surprising to some, the 3D printing community will likely concur. The research trial had a group of people, all in their 60s, try out 3D printed dentures first, and then gave them conventional dentures to use. The study participants had to alternate between the two pairs of dentures over a month, and once the study was completed, the results showed that the majority of the participants liked the 3D printed pair better. The participants said that overall, they felt better when they were using the 3D printed dentures – they could speak more easily when wearing them, and the 3D printed set was easier to clean.

Laser 3D printing technology is used to create dentures, which is far more accurate and offers a more precise fit than pouring a mold into a set of dentures does. Additionally, it usually takes about 96 minutes to complete a traditional denture mold, which includes shaping the mouth and pouring the mold into it; on average, it only takes about 65 minutes to 3D print dentures.

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