We’ve got a lot of 3D printing business news to shareion today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, along with some news on competitions, 3D printing material, and some 3D printed clothing. Robo and colorFabb have announced a partnership, while Type A Machines introduces a new board member, as well as support and maintenance programs for its 3D printers. Airbus BizLab is launching the #Africa4Future aerospace accelerator challenge, PADT and Stratasys announce their involvement with a university’s new additive manufacturing lab, and Chromatic 3D Materials won a grant from the National Science Foundation. Japanese chemical products manufacturer Unitika is introducing a new thermo sensitive filament, and 3D printed clothing is on display at a textile exhibition in Seoul.
Robo and colorFabb Announce Partnership
colorFabb, headquartered in the Netherlands, has partnered with Robo for a distribution and reseller agreement. The two will work on sales and distribution expansion into Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, and Robo will become a reseller of colorFabb’s range of premium filament products. Additionally, the companies will work together on co-developing and commercializing unique filaments for Robo, in order to help grow the 3D printing industry by expanding the products that can be produced on Robo’s printers.
“We are tremendously excited to announce our two-way partnership with colorFabb. We have long admired how Ruud [Rouleaux, founder] and his team at colorFabb have built a premium brand in the desktop 3D printing segment, constantly innovating their filament product offering to meet the growing demands of users for more sophisticated materials. This is a huge validation for our company, and our printers, as colorFabb has completed the most extensive testing of our printers to date. With an established global distribution footprint extending into 60+ countries, colorFabb will be able to leverage Robo’s products to its already vast customer base,” said Ryan Legudi, Robo’s Managing Director. “Similarly, we are equally excited to be able to re-sell colorFabb’s extensive range of premium filament to our own customer base, who are increasingly demanding higher quality, more specialized materials. With the release of Robo R2, we have activated our strategy to expand deeper into the prosumer and professional segment, which is the fastest growing segment in the industry. By partnering with colorFabb for their filament, we are now positioned to provide professionals with an exceptional 3D printing solution.”
Founder of The North Face Joins Board of Directors for Type A Machines
3D printer manufacturer Type A Machines, which designs the industrial-grade Series 1 3D printer, announced that Kenneth ‘Hap’ Klopp, founder of activewear company The North Face, has been appointed to its board of directors. Klopp, who acquired the The North Face in 1968 and served as CEO for 25 years, will join Type A Machines founder Andrew Rutter and acting CFO Mitch Huitema in leading the direction of the 3D printing company. He led The North Face to become one of the largest privately-held companies in the San Francisco East Bay and has served on numerous boards and advisory boards.
“3D printing is the foundation of a new, emerging economy destined to change how brands design, produce, and deliver their wares to customers. I’m excited to work alongside the talented team at Type A Machines to spread their enabling technology and solutions throughout the market,” said Klopp.
Type A Machines Announces 3D Printer Support and Maintenance Programs
Speaking of Type A Machines, the company is also introducing a range of new maintenance and support services that are designed to help its customers prevent downtime, overcome printer issues, increase productivity, and ensure peak operation. The new offerings, which are available immediately, include Preventative Care, which offers onsite maintenance for $780/year per machine, and Priority Service, which costs $499/year per machine and gives customers priority email support and parts shipping. The $125/year Members Club is a loyalty program that offers, among other features, members-only pricing on parts and materials, and the last new offering is a free hour of ‘Getting Started’ training with a company technician when you purchase one of its 3D printers.
Shawn Hopwood, the Chief Marketing Officer and VP of Sales for Type A Machines, said, “For our customers, time is money. A printer down means lost productivity and often, lost revenue. With our expanded service offerings, especially our focus on preventative care, we bring peace of mind to our demanding customers.”
Airbus BizLab Launches Aerospace Accelerator Challenge in Southern Africa
Global aerospace accelerator Airbus BizLab, which brings startups and Airbus entrepreneurs together to turn innovative ideas into valuable businesses, has launched its first accelerator challenge, #Africa4Future, which targets startups in Southern African that have ideas on how to define the future aerospace business. The program is in partnership with the Silicon Cape Initiative, and will welcome applications for regional startup businesses and acceleration programs from entrepreneurs. A screening committee will make a shortlist of the most promising products and ideas, and the winner will be determined after the final pitch event, held in Cape Town next month.
The competition will focus on startups utilizing advanced technology such as drones, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, smart sensors and energy, and the Internet of Things.
“We are excited to finally bring this programme to Southern Africa. We have been impressed by some of the innovations coming out of hubs and university research labs within the region also empowered by the Silicon Cape Initiative,” said Bruno Gutierres, Head of the Airbus BizLabs. “We are looking forward to receiving inspiring ideas and concepts at our specially-convened Pitch Day in Cape Town on 22 September.”
Tomorrow, August 30th, is the last day to register for the challenge. The winner will receive a fully-paid, 10-day trip to Europe this fall, and have the chance to meet and interact with aerospace experts. They’ll have the chance to work on solutions for their startup, and possibly partner with Airbus BizLab to see their project all the way to the product stage.
PADT and Stratasys Announce Involvement in Colorado Additive Manufacturing Lab
Last month, thanks to a $1 million investment from Lockheed Martin, the Metropolitan State University of Denver revealed that it would be constructing the first additive manufacturing laboratory in Colorado, which will allow students and engineers to use 3D printing technology to design and build aerospace components. Today, Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies (PADT) announced that it is teaming up with Stratasys for the Lockheed Martin Additive Manufacturing Lab. The lab should be opening this fall, and is dedicated to advancing the use of 3D printing for creating composite tooling applications that address complex manufacturing and design requirements. 3D printing solutions from Stratasys will be at the center of the lab, including the Fortus 900mc Production 3D printer. The curriculum, while initially only deployed at MSU Denver, will eventually be available for other US academic institutions.
“We’re excited to work with Lockheed Martin to propel creation of highly innovative, additive manufacturing curriculum at MSU Denver,” said Tim Schniepp, Director of Composite Solutions at Stratasys. “Both students and local businesses now have access to leading 3D printing solutions for development of composite structures – enabling manufacturers to save time, money, and solve even their most unique design challenges. We have no doubt the lab will quickly become a cornerstone of additive manufacturing innovation across the State of Colorado.”
Chromatic 3D Materials Wins Grant, Advances in Startup Competition
Chromatic 3D Materials, which is working to invent the next generation of durable 3D printing materials, has some good news: it recently won a Phase I grant at the highest level from the National Science Foundation (NSF). But that’s not all – the startup also advanced to the finals of the Minnesota Cup, the largest statewide startup competition in the US. The Minnesota Cup is a hub for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and grows connections and increases awareness of innovation in Minnesota. On October 25th, Chromatic 3D Materials will present a business overview at the Minnesota Venture Conference.
“Developing standard industrial- and medical-grade materials for 3D printing processes is really exciting; our customers can manufacture custom designs using custom materials in nearly every industry,” said Chromatic 3D Materials founder and CEO Cora Leibig, PhD.
Unitika Introduces New Thermo Sensitive Filament
For two years, Japan-based Unitika Ltd., which manufactures chemical products, has been producing and selling high performance PLA filaments. The company has now added a unique polyester material to its product lineup – Thermo Sensitive filament. This material is deformable, and can be used to make industrial jigs, as well as toys and dolls. The shape of the models that are 3D printed with this material can be changed, by hand, once exposed to warm temperatures; however, they will keep their original shape when they’re cooled. It’s available in a 1.75 mm diameter, and the recommended nozzle temperature for the filament is 190 ~220°C. The company will be introducing its new Thermo Sensitive filament at the TCT Show in Birmingham next month.
My Fashion Lab Exhibits 3D Printed Clothing at Preview in SEOUL ExhibitionA system called ‘My Fashion Lab,’ invented by fashion brand BlackYak, is making headlines and bringing 3D printed clothes to the masses at the three-day Preview in SEOUL textile exhibition. The system can produce customized, 3D printed clothes within an hour, and will allow visitors to see each stage of the process, from design to construction. Consumers will choose a 3D fashion design, which will appear on the system’s screen and be worn by an avatar that corresponds to the measurements of the user’s body. Once a design decision has been made, My Fashion Lab uses a digital textile printing (DTP) process, then cuts out and sews the cloth. If the system is commercialized, it “could reshape the landscape of the fashion industry and encourage more participation from consumers in the creation of their own clothes.”
“In the age of the fourth industrial revolution, textiles and the fashion industry will combine with Information & Communications Technology, entering a new era that truly centers on consumers,” said Lee In-ho, the Vice-Minister of Trade for South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. “To venture into the global market, we must differentiate ourselves from developing countries like China and India.”
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